Flying Schools — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:33 pm on 12 September 2023.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Minister of State (Department for Transport) 3:33, 12 September 2023

I am not making policy from where I stand; I was speaking as a former Treasury Minister about the general attitude towards VAT and the general problem that no Government of any stamp can compel a private company to pass a saving on to consumers. Indeed, whether or not savings are passed on is itself a function of the competitive conditions in the sector. I will come on to what the CAA can do later in my remarks, but although I understand my hon. Friend’s concern about the cost of VAT, let me remind him that the taxpayer will be a significant loser from the failure of these companies. I recognise a certain strength in his point about individual students being recognised; if he wishes to raise that point with the Treasury or with Baroness Vere, he is very welcome to do so. However, the general policy, as far as I am aware, is the one that I have enunciated for the Government.