Red (faced) Dawn has been caught out over her policy on VAT. The treasury minister, Dawn Primarolo, fought for an end to the rule under which value added tax on energy-saving materials is 17.5 per cent, while the rate on fuel consumption is eight per cent.
Primarolo has said an EU directive prevented further reductions. But now she has admitted that France and Italy have reduced their rates from 22.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent and from 20 per cent to 10 per cent respectively. So the Government could have acted anyway.