HL Deb 26 July 1979 vol 401 c2141WA
Viscount SIMON

asked her Majesty's Government:

Whether it is true that the Open University is required to pay VAT on the fee charged by the BBC for broadcasting its educational programmes; and, if so, whether they consider it is right for these services to be so taxed.

The MINISTER of STATE, TREASURY (Lord Cockfield)

. All broadcasting services provided by the BBC which are not funded from licence revenue and for which specific charges are made are liable to VAT. The fees charged are for the service of broadcasting and not for the provision of education.

It would be neither right nor practicable to distinguish for VAT purposes, between one type of programme and another on the basis of the content of the programme.