How much of the rise in the standard rate of VAT is passed on to consumers is a commercial decision for retailers.
I thank the Minister for that answer. Treasury Ministers are very wrong to suggest that the calls to scrap the VAT increase on fuel is illegal and unworkable. There is precedent for it: the French President recently got a derogation from EU laws for French restaurants. Will this Government stand up for UK families who have been hard hit by the rise in fuel costs and look for derogation powers on fuel duty?
In terms of the value for money of decisions taken by the Treasury, whether on road fuel tax or other things, does the Minister agree that one of the best value creations of this Government has been the increase in apprenticeships, which is widely appreciated around the country? Does he agree that apprenticeships are critical both to our growth strategy and to the reduction of youth—