Coronavirus: Screening

(asked on 17th June 2021) - View Source

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has consulted representatives of (a) the travel industry and b) representatives of covid-19 test providers on the potential merits of removing VAT from the cost of covid-19 test services required for travel abroad; and if he will make a statement.


Answered by
Jesse Norman Portrait
Jesse Norman
This question was answered on 24th June 2021

VAT is a broad-based tax on consumption and the standard rate of 20 per cent normally applies to most goods and services, including PCR tests. VAT makes a significant contribution towards the public finances, raising about £130 billion in 2019/20. This helped to fund the Government's priorities in key areas such as health, schools, and defence. Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing or increased taxation elsewhere.

Medical testing, where it is administered by registered health professionals, is exempt from VAT. The Government also continues to offer free COVID-19 testing for those with COVID-19 symptoms.

Competition among private providers in the market for COVID-19 tests has already worked to reduce the cost of PCR tests significantly, without Government intervention, and the Government expects these prices to continue to decrease over time. In order to reflect the recent reduction in the price of PCR tests that are available privately, NHS Test and Trace has already decreased the cost of the tests that they provide for international arrivals.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
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26/01/2021 - Commons Chamber

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2. Oral Answers to Questions
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Recent Questions related to Coronavirus: Screening
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