HC Deb 15 December 1994 vol 251 c1062
12. Ms Hoey

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to extend the scope of VAT to goods which are currently zero-rated.

The Paymaster General (Mr. David Heathcoat-Amory)

My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to do so.

Ms Hoey

We shall have to wait and see on that. As a special Christmas gift to women, will the Minister consider zero rating something that is not a luxury but a necessity—sanitary towels and other sanitary apparel? Will he give the matter serious consideration because those items are a necessity and women should not have to pay VAT on them?

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

We have no plans to reduce VAT on the items mentioned by the hon. Lady and we cannot introduce zero rates for reasons, of which she is aware, connected with rules under the European Union.

Mr. Michael Brown

Is my hon. Friend aware that I have a question for written answer on the Order Paper for answer next week asking him to clarify the position with regard to zero-rating VAT on pleasure rides? Is he aware that in Cleethorpes people are concerned about whether VAT will be put on donkey rides on Cleethorpes beach? Will he clear up that matter, as those donkey rides are an important part of the local economy?

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

Public transport will continue to be zero rated. Unfortunately, beach donkeys do not constitute public transport, even in Cleethorpes, but at the standard rate of 17.5 per cent. I am sure that they represent excellent value.

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