§ Mr. Gow
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will circulate in the Official Report a copy of the instructions issued by the Ministry of Defence in March 1973 to all commands and districts relating to the re-imbursement, in certain circumstances, of VAT and car tax, by the Ministry of Defence to members of the armed forces who had been serving in Northern Ireland; if he will ensure that those instructions are publicised regularly and widely at unit level; in how many cases, since March 1973, re-imbursement has been made, and of what total amount; and whether he is satisfied that the 1973 instructions are widely known and understood by members of the armed forces who have served or are serving in Northern Ireland.
§ Mr. Robert C. Brown
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 21st October 1975: Vol. 898, c. 150–1.] gave the following information:
Detailed instructions were issued to all commands and districts in March 1973. 272W Minor amendments have since been made to make it clear that the vehicles must have been delivered to and used in BAOR to qualify for reimbursement of import duty or VAT and tax. The instructions otherwise stand, and I have no reason to suppose that those in a position to benefit from them are not aware of the concession. If the hon. Member has evidence which suggests otherwise, I shall consider reissuing them.
Since March 1974, 47 claims have been submitted and 28 approved. The total amount reimbursed since that date has been £4,310.31. I regret that information for the period before March 1974 is not held centrally and could not be obtained without disproportionate effort.
I have arranged for a copy of the instructions to be placed in the Library.