HC Deb 07 May 1973 vol 856 cc13-4W
37. Mr. McBride

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effects of value added tax on private house building in Wales.

Mr. Higgins

As the supply of new construction work is zero-rated for VAT, and SET and purchase tax have been abolished, the overall effect of the changeover should be favourable.

Mr. Simeons

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement regarding the instructions given to Customs Officers who have occasion to visit firms to build up case notes for VAT purposes and the extent to which they can make demands upon executives' time when there is no question of fraud being involved; and if he will also take steps to see that questions are not put of which Customs and Excise are already in possession of the answers.

Mr. Higgins

The present instructions should ensure that such demands are kept to a minimum and that unnecessary questions are avoided. If my hon. Friend is concerned about any particular case, I shall be glad if he will send me details.

Mr. Parry

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the estimated number of extra staff required to administer VAT.

Mr. Higgins

I said, in the course of the Budget debate on 23rd March 1972, that Customs and Excise would need about 6,000 extra staff to administer VAT; the exact number will depend on the final total of registered taxpayers and experience in the working of the tax.