HC Deb 26 March 2001 vol 365 cc454-5W
Mr. David Heath

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with representatives of optometrists and ophthalmic dispensers on the implications of changes in HM Customs and Excise regulations; [153805]

(2) what his assessment is of the implications of changes in Customs and Excise regulations on ophthalmic dispensing. [153804]

Mr. Hutton

On 15 February Her Majesty's Customs and Excise issued a business brief on how they intend to apply a recent judgment in the House of Lords on what, for value added tax purposes, comprises a single supply. At the same time they wrote to opticians' representative bodies explaining that the effect of the judgment would be to make the dispensing and supply of spectacles and contact lenses a single supply. The Department continues its discussion with the optical professions.