Clause 314 - Deposit schemes

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 18 May 2023.

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Photo of James Murray James Murray Shadow Financial Secretary (Treasury) 11:45, 18 May 2023

As we have heard, the clause introduces rules for VAT accounting for deposit return schemes. As the Minister set out, it means that when making sales within the scope of the relevant deposit scheme, no VAT will be charged in relation to the deposit amount. However, VAT on unreturned deposit amounts will be paid by the first seller of a deposit scheme product.

We recognise that, under existing legislation, deposit return schemes may be introduced across the UK, and we recognise that the clause helps to facilitate the operation of such schemes by introducing VAT accounting rules. The clause ensures that no VAT will be charged at any point in the supply chain in relation to the deposit element of the price for a deposit scheme product. There will only be a requirement to account for VAT where suppliers make the first sale of standard-rated deposit scheme products that include a deposit amount.

More widely, we have been disappointed by the delays in the introduction of a deposit return scheme. It was only after multiple consultations that the Government finally announced in January 2023 that they would introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic and cans, but not for glass, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2025. We will not oppose the clause. Indeed, we want to see a deposit return scheme introduced as soon as possible, so I would be grateful if the Minister could use this opportunity to confirm whether the Government are still committed to introducing one in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2025.