§ Mr. Stephen O'Brien
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he intends to have with(a) the European Commission and (b)L ECOFIN concerning changes to European law to permit more substantial VAT rates. 
§ John Healey
The current provisions in EC Directives regarding the level of VAT standard rates which may be set in individual member states are discussed in the Treasury publication 'Fiscal Stabilisation and EMU', published on 9 June, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. There are no current plans to amend these provisions, which are next due to be reviewed in 2005–06.