Value Added Tax Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 8th February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 10:35 am, 8th February 2019

Yes, but the problem is that all that was subject to decisions by the European Court of Justice. Can my hon. Friend think of anything more ridiculous? If the matter had been under the control of our domestic laws set by Parliament, we would have been able to amend a finance Bill to redefine something, and the situation could have been changed overnight. However, because this all comes under the complex regime in the European Union, all of which is subject to the European Court of Justice, lawyers who specialise in this area can have a field day. The volume of law on VAT is vast, and surely there is a case for keeping it much simpler and well defined.

It would also be useful to have more transparency over what is subject to VAT. Supermarkets do not currently provide VAT receipts, so people do not know whether the digestive biscuits or the Jaffa Cakes that they just bought were or were not subject to VAT. However, there are various blogs that enable people to discover the best value items to purchase that are not subject to VAT but are quite similar to other products that are subject to VAT.

Speaking of transparency, clause 2(2)(c) would exempt from VAT goods that are already subject to excise duties, because I strongly believe that we should not have double taxation. Why should somebody who is paying duty on petrol then also have to pay VAT on that duty?