Sports: VAT

Treasury written question – answered at on 23 October 2023.

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Photo of Darren Jones Darren Jones Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of reducing the level of VAT applied to children’s (a) swimming lessons and (b) other sports.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

VAT has been designed as a broad-based tax on consumption, and the twenty per cent standard rate applies to the majority of goods and services. While there are exceptions to the standard rate, these have always been strictly limited by both legal and fiscal considerations; one exception being certain supplies of education, which are generally exempt from VAT when certain conditions are met.

VAT is the UK’s third largest tax forecast to raise £161 billion in 2022/23, helping to fund key spending priorities such as important public services, including the NHS, education and defence. Nevertheless, the Government keeps all taxes under review.

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