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'End VAT payments on private sector Welsh-language courses'.

FINANCE Minister Rebecca Evans has called on the UK Government to end an anomaly under which VAT has to be paid on private-sector Welsh-language courses but not on comparable English courses.

The issue was raised with Ms Evans by Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood, who said: "In these fractious political times, achieving the goal of one million Welsh-speakers is something that can unite almost every AM. Reaching this target will take a lot of effort and determination over a number of different areas, and Welsh courses for adults are a crucial component.

"Unfortunately, Welsh learning is not treated the same as Englishlearning courses, because English courses are exempt from VAT, whereas Welsh courses are not. This is clearly something that's very unfair."

Ms Evans responded: "We were as concerned as you were when it was brought to our attention.

"That's why I wrote to the Financial Secretary to the Treasury setting out that, as an official language of the UK, there should be a level playing-field for the Welsh language, and the same VAT exemption should apply in relation to the Welsh language."

A UK Government spokeswoman said: "The UK Government is committed to supporting the Welshlanguage in all aspects of its work to empower and represent Welshspeakers and communities in Wales. "The teaching of both Welsh and English by schools, further education colleges, universities and nonprofit-making bodies is not subject to VAT, or is exempt from VAT where fees are charged.

"This is regardless of whether the student is a UK national or overseas student.

"Private tuition of both Welsh and English is exempt from VAT.

"There is an exemption for commercial language schools where teaching English as a foreign language. This exemption does not apply for the teaching of other languages, including Welsh in these commercial schools."

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 25, 2019
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