Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - I opposed the Commission's proposal to harmonise VAT between state postal services like the Royal Mail and private sector delivery services. The Commission’s bad timing was not lost on Scotland with the debate taking place in arguably the busiest week for postal services across Europe and I am glad it got the knock-back it deserved. It is often rightly assumed and argued that many of us now have access to e-mail and other communications technology and that the cost of postage stamps is irrelevant. However, many pensioners and low-income households still depend on reliable and affordable postal services. It would be their pockets which would be hit hardest if VAT was put onto the price of a stamp. I call upon the Commission to reflect on this and shelve the proposal.

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