asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will veto any proposal by the European Union to impose VAT on postal services. [HL918]
The Government will give careful consideration to any proposals by the Commission taking account of liberalisation of postal services across the European Union and the reform package announced by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 7 December 1998.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the recent increase in the cost of letters to other European Union countries from 26p to 30p was in response to European Union proposals to levy VAT on postal services; and what public consultation took place prior to this increase. [HL917]
No proposals have been received from the European Commission on the levying of VAT on postal services. Last year's increase in the price of sending a letter to other European countries was prompted by increased handling costs and is in line with the agreement, set out in the European Postal Services Directive, that prices should be geared to costs. The increase was introduced by the Post Office following consultation with the Government and with the Post Office Users' National Council (POUNC).