Historic levels of UK VAT receipts

Historic UK levels of VAT receipts

Financial Year Total VAT take (Lbn) %age of pub sec current receipts %age of total GDP Notes on main changes
1972/73000No VAT. Before 1/4/73 the UK's consumption tax was the Purchase Tax, levied at different rates depending on the goods' luxuriousness
1973/741.54.92.01/4/73: VAT introduced into UK at standard 10% rate by Chancellor Anthony Barber as condition of joining EEC
1974/752.56.62.829/07/74: VAT standard rate cut from 10% to 8% by Chancellor Denis Healey. 18/11/74: higher rate of 25% introduced for petrol (but not DERV)
1975/763.57.23.11/5/75: higher rate extended to wider range of perceived luxury goods and services including TVs, cameras, caravans, aircraft, furs and jewellery
1976/773.86.72.912/4/76: higher rate cut from 25% to 12.5%
1979/808.09.43.818/6/79: higher rate abolished and standard VAT rate of 15% established by Chancellor Geoffrey Howe
1991/9235.215.25.81/4/91: VAT standard rate raised from 15% to 17.5% by Chancellor Norman Lamont (to pay for reduction in the poll tax/community charge)
1994/9541.716.35.91/4/94: Domestic fuel and power brought into VAT at reduced rate of 8%
1997/9850.616.06.01/9/97: Reduced rate for domestic fuel and power cut to 5% by new Chancellor Gordon Brown
1998/9952.315.65.91/7/98: Reduced rate (5%) applied to installation of energy saving materials when funded by certain grants and schemes
2000/0158.515.35.91/4/00: 5% rate applied to installation of energy saving materials in all homes. 1/1/01: 5% rate applied to women's sanitary products
2001/0261.015.75.912/5/01: 5% rate extended to children's car seats and some conversion / renovation of empty dwellings
2002/0363.516.15.81/6/02: 5% rate applied to the grant-funded installation of heating equipment
2004/0573.016.26.01/6/04: 5% rate for energy saving materials extended to include ground source heat pumps
2005/0672.915.05.71/4/05: 5% rate extended to sale of videos and other information connected with the welfare of elderly or disabled people or children
2006/0777.415.05.77/4/06: 5% rate applied to installation of air source heat pumps, micro-CHP & wood-fuelled boilers. 1/7/06: 5% rate applied to contraceptives
2007/0880.614.75.61/5/07: VAT applied to non-medical supplies by health prof'ls. 1/7/07: 5% rate applied to home alterations for elderly & sales of smoking cessation products
2008/0978.414.75.51/12/08: Alistair Darling reduced standard rate to 15% for a 13-month period. Exempt, zero and reduced rate items not affected
2009/1070.213.75.01/4/09: Bingo/casino fees exempted from VAT. 1/7/09: 5% rate applied to children's car seat bases. 1/1/10: Standard rate of VAT returned to 17.5%
2010/1183.515.25.64/1/11: The standard rate of VAT increased to 20 per cent by coalition Chancellor George Osborne
2011/1298.317.26.41/11/11: Low value consignment relief (LVCR) threshold, below which goods imported from outside the EU are VAT free, reduced from L18 to L15
2012/13100.017.06.51/4/12: LVCR for goods from Channel Is. disapplied. 1/10/12: Rules tightened on treatment of hot takeaway food, holiday caravans, self-storage, etc.
Sources: HMRC VAT Bulletin, February 2013; HM Treasury website (Public sector current receipts and GDP figures) (NB. Receipts on a cash basis not accruals; 2012-13 figs are forecasts)
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