at new Commissioner's failure to support ongoing VAT exemption for
European Leader Ian Hudghton
MEP is to press the UK Government and the European
Commission for a categorical assurance that there will be no threat from
Europe to the current exemption from VAT for children's clothes.
comes after Mr Hudghton challenged incoming European Taxation Commissioner
Ingrida Udre of Latvia on the issue at a special European Parliament
hearing today (Thursday). Mrs Udre failed to give an assurance that she
favoured continuation of VAT exemptions for goods such as children's
clothes and instead said that the exemption would need to be 'justified'.
candidate for a post on the new European Commission has to undergo a three
hour grilling before a select committee of MEPs. Euro-MPs will vote to
accept or reject the Commission later this month, but a negative view on
one individual could force a reshuffle or calls for a fresh candidate
from Brussels, Ian Hudghton
Udre's answer on zero VAT for children's clothes set alarm bells ringing.
I was very concerned that someone tasked with responsibility for taxation
in the new European Commission could argue that not applying VAT to
children's clothes would need to be 'justified'. I take the opposite view
entirely - there can be no justification for meddling with this exemption
which is so important to many hard working families.
I will be
seeking urgent assurances from the UK Government and the incoming European
Commission President Mr Barroso that they will not tolerate any threat to
the VAT exemption for children's clothes. Mrs Udre also needs to provide
urgent clarification of her position.
families are already under enough pressure when it comes to buying clothes
for their children. We must oppose any threat from Europe that
would unfairly penalise hard working families."