§ Mr. Kenneth Carlisle
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current position regarding the Rayner review of value added tax regulations and deregistration procedures.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
I have now adopted the report and am placing copies in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament. The report is also being released to the Customs and Excise departmental trade union side in order to allow it to comment before an action plan is prepared.
The report falls into two parts. Part of the report proposes a number of changes in registration and deregistration procedures, and consideration of these recommendations is now proceeding with a view to preparation of the action plan. The other part of the report proposes the compulsory deregistration of VAT registered businesses with turnovers below a minimum limit. I believe that compulsory deregistration could have an adverse effect on small businesses, which would be contrary to the Government's policy of encouraging their growth. On balance I have concluded that the disadvantages to the trading community of compulsory deregistration outweigh the advantages of the economies in the public sector, and I have therefore decided not to proceed with these recommendations.