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New Clause 4 — Face-value vouchers

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 3:59 pm on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary 3:59 pm, 3rd July 2012

I certainly will, although at this point I am just setting out what we set out at the Budget. I will turn to each individual measure in more detail in a moment and happily give way to my hon. Friend at that point.

We propose to remove the anomaly whereby approved alterations to certain listed buildings are zero-rated while alterations to other buildings and repairs to and maintenance on all buildings are standard-rated. We included transitional arrangements for alteration works to listed buildings which had been contracted before the Budget, and we wanted to put beyond doubt the fact that VAT applies to the rental of hairdressers’ chairs.

Finally, we proposed to ensure that holiday caravans are taxed consistently at the standard rate of VAT. The proposal, as set out in the consultation document, was that all the changes would take effect from 1 October via secondary legislation, supported by anti-forestalling provisions in this Bill. The consultation was opened on 21 March, and overall HMRC received some 1,500 responses. Owing to the volume of interest in the consultation, we decided to extend it, and since it has closed we have reflected fully on the points made during the process.

As the House will be aware, in two areas—hot food that is cooling down naturally and static holiday caravans—the Budget proposals created a high degree of business uncertainty, so the Government wanted to let people know our preferred course of action as soon as possible; we did that on 28 May. Last Thursday, we published a consultation response document and tabled the new schedule setting out our approach to all the measures on which we consulted. We stand by the rationale for removing anomalies, but have made several refinements, including those we announced on 28 May. They are intended to improve the policy and reflect the practical concerns raised in the consultation.