HC Deb 05 November 1993 vol 231 cc551-2W
Mr. Dewar

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the average weekly expenditure in 1993–94 and 1994–95 of(a) all households, (b) families with children, (c) non-retired households and (d) retired households on items which are currently zero-rated, excluding domestic fuel, giving figures separately for each item.

Sir John Cope

Estimates in the form requested are not available. The latest information on household expenditure, including expenditure on goods currently zero-rated for VAT, is published in the 1992 family expenditure survey.

Mr. Cash

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of the theoretical yield if VAT were imposed on magazines at 17.5 per cent. that would actually accrue to the Exchequer.

Sir John Cope

The figure published in table 9 of the publication "Tax Ready Reckoner and Tax Reliefs", which is in the House of Commons Library, shows the cost of zero rating books, newspapers and magazines to be £1.1 billion. Magazines represent approximately 20 per cent. of this figure. The proportion of this figure actually accruing to the Exchequer if VAT were imposed would depend on the behaviour of individual companies and consumers.

Mr. John Marshall

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the current level of VAT on books in other EC countries.

Sir John Cope

The rates of VAT applied to books in other EC countries are shown in the table.

VAT on books in other EC countries
Country Rate percentage
Belgium 6
Denmark 25
France 5.5
Germany 7

(a) beers, (b) wines and (c) spirits since 1 January; and what was the amount for each category in the equivalent period for each of the last five years.

Sir John Cope

Duty receipts for alcohol are generally received in the month following clearance. The table therefore shows duty receipts from February to September of each year.

Country Rate percentage
Greece 14
Ireland 0
Italy 4
Luxembourg 3
Netherlands 6
Portugal 25
Spain 3
Note: The following rates apply generally in Corsica: 0.9 per cent., 2.1 per cent., 8 per cent. and 13 per cent.
1 Rates in brackets apply in the Departments of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades, and in the islands of Thasos, the Northern Sporades, Samothrace and Sykros.
2 The rates in brackets apply in the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores Archipelagoes. The lower rates apply to books which are considered in the legislation covering these items to be of a cultural, educational, recreational or sporting nature. The higher rates apply to books of an obscene or pornographic nature.

Source: VAT in Europe (International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation).

Mr. Peter Bottomley

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how VAT could be applied to free newspapers and magazines.

Sir John Cope

"Free" newspapers and magazines are usually financed by sales of advertising and VAT already applies.

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