HC Deb 16 December 1999 vol 341 cc298-9W
33. Dr. Iddon

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made with his discussions with the EU on lowering VAT on all energy-saving materials. [101798]

Dawn Primarolo

I wrote to the Commission in September 1998 to suggest changes to current Community law to allow a reduced rate to apply to a wider range of energy saving materials, particularly those purchased for DIY use.

The Commission replied at the beginning of December last year, saying that there is currently no provision which would allow for this reduced rate. They raised the possibility of future Commission proposals relating to Annexe H of the EC Sixth Directive, which allows for reduced rates, and maintain that these proposals would provide the right context in which to tackle the energy saving materials question. We believe that the Commission may put forward these proposals next year and, when they arrive, we will consider again the case for a reduced rate for energy saving materials.