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Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether value added tax (VAT) is charged on VAT-liable items in (a) the Cabinet Office and (b) 10 Downing Street staff canteens; and whether retail prices on VAT-liable items have been reduced since December 2008. (258614)

The Prime Minister’s Office forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office. All canteen facilities within the Cabinet Office are provided by external suppliers, and as commercial entities, they are required to apply VAT in line with HM Revenue and Customs policy. This includes applying the reduction from 17.5 per cent. to 15 per cent. introduced in December 2008.