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VAT Rates

Volume 628: debated on Thursday 7 September 2017

9. What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on changes to VAT rates after the UK leaves the EU. (900649)

The Secretary of State and the Chancellor are working together to deliver the UK’s departure from the European Union. Our future relationship with the EU, including on VAT, will be subject to negotiations. Any decisions on VAT rates will be taken by the Chancellor as part of the normal Budget process.

Our children go back to school this week, and parents are still paying a fortune for branded school uniforms. Cutting VAT on uniforms for older children would save some £200 million, but this cannot be done under current EU law. My constituents have asked me to ask Ministers to raise this matter whenever the negotiations turn to VAT.

The hon. Lady raises an interesting point, which I know has been heard by those on the Treasury Bench and will be heard by the Chancellor. However, I would gently point out to her that VAT raised £120 billion in 2016 and provides essential funding for public services, including education.

Does the Minister look forward, like me, to the days when these protracted discussions are concluded and the Chancellor will have the liberty, which we did not have as members of the EU, to set tax rates across the whole range?