Tuesday, 25 November 2008


I’ve tried a little research but not got to find what I was looking for. My memory of VAT was that it first came to be in the UK in 1973 as part of our entry into the European Common Market (as it was called then). At that point I remember there being three bands – 0% for essentials, 12.5% for most items and something like 24% for luxury items. Some years later the two charging bands were pulled together into one at 15%. Many items that were exempt as essentials have over the years lost that status and are now taxed – Children’s shoes I recall being one that was hotly argued at the time. Along with fuel which was at times on a different lower band.

I thought that VAT was “temporarily” increased to 17.5% from 15% by the Tory government in the early 90s to cover the deficit that the treasury had due to number of people not paying the community charge (“poll tax”). It never went back down – so this “temporary” move to lower it to 15% could be viewed cynically by people with long memories… like me. However given my research didn’t back up any of this stuff maybe my memory is just warped by time as well…

1 comment:

  1. VAT is boring so instead I'll say thank you for the story of your vasectomy on my blog. I'm glad your wife had her priorities right and grabbed the cup of tea. She probably needed that.