Mr. Robert Ainsworth
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate, in current prices, the net revenue forgone in each year since 1988–89 as a result of the reduction in personal income tax for higher rate taxpayers introduced by the Finance Act 1988; and what has been the total number of beneficiaries in each year, by region. 
§ Mr. Jack
Available information is in the table. Figures for earlier years were given in the reply to the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) on 17 December 1993,Official Report, columns 969–70. Some regional estimates are based on small samples and all amounts are given to the nearest £50 million.
EC sixth VAT directive restricts changes to eligibility to recover value added tax. 
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
The public bodies eligible for refunds of VAT under section 33 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 are too numerous to be individually identified. In addition to the general categories listed in section 33(3) 417W (a) to (j), other bodies such as the National Rivers Authority, the Environment Agency and probation and magistrates courts committees have been added from time to time under section 33(3)(k).
Section 33 bodies are treated under the VAT system in much the same way as other taxable persons, except that, where they are carrying out statutory obligations outside the scope of the tax, they may recover their input tax. This accords with the general principles governing the tax treatment of public bodies laid down in the EC sixth VAT directive.