§ Mr. Higgins
The Customs and Excise Department, who will be responsible for the administration of the tax, have had discussions with representatives of the National Federation of Building Trades Employers, the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors, the Federation of Associations of Specialist and Subcontractors, and the Committee of Associations of Specialist Engineering Contractors. They are in touch with some other trade and professional associations in the industry, and would be glad to receive comments from any associations which have not yet approached them.
§ Mr. Higgins
Those associations in the construction industry which have so far made representations have suggested that 319W sales of newly constructed houses might be zero-rated.
§ Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has for protecting lower income groups from the effects of the proposed value-added tax and the European Economic Community agricultural policy in so far as they will add to the cost of living.
§ Mr. Barber
It is too early to say whether or not the replacement of S.E.T. and purchase tax by V.A.T. will affect the cost of living. In any case, the Government are fully committed to ensuring that retirement pensioners and those dependent on other social benefits will be protected through adjustments to benefits against the effect of any price increases which may result from our entry into the E.E.C.