§ 3.17 p.m.
§ Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:
§ Whether, in the light of the Question asked by Viscount Ingleby on 24th January 1996 (HL Deb., col. 1030), they have reviewed the criteria for the exemption from VAT of vehicles such as the Scott-Track Venturer designed for the use of disabled people.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish)
My Lords, I am pleased to say that, in the light of further information provided by the manufacturer, Customs and Excise accept that the Venturer is eligible for zero rating as being designed solely for disabled people.
§ Lord Tebbit
My Lords, will my noble friend accept that he is now not only a popular Minister, but also that he has given a popular Answer? Is he also aware—and are noble Lords aware—that, although this Question was tabled by me after a hint from my noble friend, so it might be called "placed", to my knowledge no other Question of the same kind has been tabled in the other place? Can my noble friend say how many of these vehicles have had VAT charged upon them and whether that VAT can now be reclaimed? Will he also join me in thanking the noble Viscount, Lord Ingleby—who is unable to be here today due to the illness of his wife—for initially raising this matter?
§ Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish
My Lords, I know that the noble Viscount, Lord Ingleby, was keen to be here today but unfortunately cannot be. I know that he will be pleased with the outcome. I believe two or three of those vehicles have been sold—one to our noble friend and one or two to an organisation which takes disabled people out into the country. Customers who have paid tax on the vehicles should contact Scott-Track, the manufacturers, for a refund. Lastly, I am delighted to have my popularity restored.