§ Mr. Hannam
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ensure that health authorities maintain the provision of commercial hearing aids regardless of the imposition of value added tax.
§ Mr. Scott
The imposition of VAT on hearing aids will not affect NHS patients since they are issued with their appliances, whether from the NHS range or commercial models, on free loan from health authorities. The health authorities already pay VAT on their purchases; the new ruling therefore makes no difference to their costs.