§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on the VAT rate of 17.5 per cent. on the sale of thermal insulation products for private purchasers; and if he will make a statement. 
§ John Healey
The Government has received numerous representations from members of the public, and others from individual hon. members and businesses. Under long-standing formal agreements with our European partners, we are not able to introduce a reduced rate of VAT for energy-efficient or energy-saving materials sold direct to the public. The Government has pressed the European Commission to bring forward, during this year's review of VAT reduced rates, proposals to allow a reduced rate for energy-saving materials purchased for DIY installation.