§ Mr. Faulds
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he will make representations to the European Economic Community Commissioners regarding the seventh directive on the harmonisation of value added tax on works of art; and whether he will make a statement;
(2) what assessment he has made of the implications for museums and galleries and private art collectors and benefactors of the seventh directive on the harmonisation of value added tax on works of art; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Brooke
The draft seventh VAT directive, which was first proposed by the EC Commission in 1978, is still under discussion at official level: it would not be appropriate for Ministers to intervene at this stage. But I am aware of the effect which the proposed draft directive would have on museums and galleries and private art collectors and benefactors. Their views will continue to inform the British position in the Brussels negotiations. Draft VAT directives require unanimous agreement in the Council of Ministers before they can be adopted.