HC Deb 22 March 1973 vol 853 cc156-7W
31. Mr. Jessel

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether new houseboats and any other forms of new housing are to be subject to value added tax; and, if so, for what reason.

Mr. Higgins

The zero rate will apply to the supply of newly constructed houses, which would include residences erected on piers permanently attached to the river bed or bank, and to residential caravans. The position of houseboats generally is under review.

35. Mr. Joel Barnett

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at the latest date for which the information is available, how many firms have applied for registration for VAT; how many have been registered; and what is his estimate of the numbers he now expects to register in due course.

Mr. Higgins

The estimated number of traders who had applied up to 16th March was approximately 106 million. All but a small number of these have been issued with their registration numbers and are therefore for practical purposes registered. The registration process has been completed for more than 935,000 traders. The total to be registered in due course will depend on the number of voluntary registrations, and it is too early to estimate the extent of these.

Mr. Faulds

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer which of the national and university museums and galleries he expects will not qualify as taxable persons for value added tax purposes.

Mr. Higgins

It is expected that all the national museums and galleries will be able to apply for registration as taxable persons. Sufficient information is not available as far as university museums and galleries are concerned.

Mr. Fisher

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the latest direction given by Customs and Excise with regard to the charging of VAT on boxes of chocolates and other confectionery sold at shops or otherwise in cinemas, theatres, ballrooms, hotels, canteens, railway and airport buffets and boutiques and similar premises, for consumption partly on or partly off such premises.

Mr. Higgins

Customs and Excise has had representations on this subject since the Budget and it has met some of those concerned to discuss the issues within the past few days. The matter is receiving urgent consideration.