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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) how many (a) letters, (b) e-mails and (c) telephone calls his Department has received on VAT on the construction of war memorials in each of the last 12 months;
(2) what recent discussions he has had with veteran groups on VAT on the construction of war memorials.
The Ministry of Defence has received only one letter on this issue in the last 12 months.
The Ministry of Defence has no direct responsibility in this matter but the Department for Culture, Media and Sport administer a Memorial Grant Scheme which refunds the VAT costs incurred by UK-registered charities in the construction, renovation and maintenance of memorials both in the UK and overseas. I have attended one meeting with the Minister with responsibility for tourism and heritage, my hon. Friend John Penrose, and the Bomber Command Association where the issue of VAT for the Bomber Command Memorial has been discussed.