§ Mr. Michael
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will list those commodities and services currently rated for VAT(a) at zero and (b) at a level below the maximum and indicate which of those would be enshrined or protected by the terms of the Maastricht treaty;
(2) if he will list those commodities and services currently rated for VAT (a) at zero and (b) at a level below the maximum and indicate which of those would be enshrined or protected by the terms of the draft European directive on VAT.
§ Sir John Cope
[holding answer 15 June 1992]: Those goods and services which are currently zero-rated for VAT are as follows. There is no reduced rate category in the United Kingdom.Food, including animal feeding stuffs (i)Sewerage services and water (ii)Books, booklets, pamphlets and leaflets, newspapers, journals and periodicals, sheet music, maps, charts and topographical plans.Talking books for the blind and handicapped and wireless sets for the blind.Fuel and power (ii)Construction of buildings (iii)Reconstruction of protected buildingsInternational servicesTransport (iv)Residential caravans and houseboats (v)Gold (vi)Bank notes.Drugs, medicines, aids for the handicapped.Certain supplies connected with imports and exports to overseas bodies in connection with international collaboration on defence projects.Certain supplies made by or to charities.Young children's clothing and footwear.Protective boots and helmets.
- (i) excludes the supply of food in the course of catering and certain items such as confectionery, crisps and packaged pet food.
- (ii) zero-rating applies to domestic use only.
- (iii) excludes commercial buildings.
- (iv) excludes the supply of ships and aircraft used for recreation or pleasure.
- (v) excludes holiday accommodation.
- (vi) zero-rating applies to transactions between central banks and the London Gold Market.
The latest text of the EC draft directive on the approximation of VAT rates contains provision for member states which as at 1 January 1991 applied a lower rate, including zero-rates, than the minimum laid down for the reduced rate, in accordance with Community law then in force, to retain those rates.
VAT rates are not affected by the Maastricht treaty.