HC Deb 05 July 1984 vol 63 c250W
Mr. Dover

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the value added tax rate in each European Community member state on (a) hot and (b) cold food.

Mr. Hayhoe

No distinction for VAT purposes is made in other EC member states between hot and cold food. The rates of VAT on take-away and restaurant meals were given in my reply to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Rooker) on 26 April 1984, at column610. The tax treatment of other food is complex, most member states applying more than one rate, depending on the products in question. There is no clear pattern, although basic foodstuffs are generally taxed at lower and luxury products at higher rates. The situation as it appears from information available is as follows:

Per cent.
Belgium 6, 25
Denmark 22
France 5.5, 18.6, 33.33
Germany 7, 14
Greece VAT not yet introduced
Ireland 0, 23
Italy 0, 2, 8, 10, 15, 18, 38
Luxembourg 3, 6, 12
Netherlands 5, 19
United Kingdom 0, 15

Mr. Dover

asked the Chanceller of the Exchequer when he expects to be in a position to assess the long term effects on (a) employment in the industry and (b) tax revenue from the industry, which will result from the imposition of value added tax on take-away food.

Mr. Hayhoe

Such assessments present difficulties as hot take-away food is supplied not by a single industry but alongside other things by several industries. Statistics of employees and of the self-employed engaged in providing hot take-away food are not available, and while it should be possible to estimate VAT revenue from family expenditure information the estimates would be annual and made some time after the end of the year.