§ Viscount Exmouth
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they consider the current discrepancies in rates of VAT applicable to tourist goods and services in the member states of the European Union disadvantage the United Kingdom tourism industry; and, if so, what action they intend to take to promote harmonisation of these VAT rates.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish):
The Government do not believe that the application of VAT disadvantages tourism in the UK. We have a lower standard rate than most EU member states and our zero rate is widely applied. In addition, some member states apply local tourist taxes.