January 7, 2015

I subscribe to various things on the They Work For You website, and one of the interesting things that popped up today was a written question to David Gauke on the VATMOSS problem:

Stephen McCabe, Shadow Minister for Education, asked “what assessment his Department has made of the potential of the changes which come into force on 1 January 2015 on VAT rules for small and micro businesses in the UK which sell digital products to other EU member states.”

To which the response is “I refer the honourable member to my reply to his question number 219172”

Now, maybe I’m just having a bad day, but I’m genuinely baffled.  I can find the question 219172, but I’m hornswoggled if I can find the answer!

I’m not hopeful it’ll be anything other than blah blah blah, but I’m an impact assessment specialist and if I can’t find it, what chance do the rest of us have?  Someone like the friend I had lunch with, say, who doesn’t actually have an internet connection at home?

They work for us, right?

(But if anyone out there can find it, please post a link in the comments!!!!)



  1. Here is the question – but cannot see the answer.


    • Yep, I can find the question – but where the heck is the answer???! Not exactly intuitive, is it?

      • This is the Parliament web site – where did you get the idea that it ought to be intuitive. At least I can find stuff on parliament.uk

        Now that HMRC and HM Treasury have migrated to gov.uk, it is impossible to find anything to do with tax – and if (by sheer fluke) you do find something, it is written in such childish language that it fails to address any of the really difficult issues (which is why you went looking on the web site in the first place).

  2. No argument from me! But if an MP gives the answer “it’s the same answer as X” then wouldn’t you expect the Parliament website to make X an active link? And if that functionality is a step too far, at least bloody googling it ought to enable you to find it! I think I might write to him and ask him direct!!!!

  3. Surely it would be easier just to paraphrase the answer in house rather than refer?

    • Well quite: but that’s not how the parliamentary game is played

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