29 JULY 1972, Page 26

VAT truth Sir: So the truth has come out at

last. In a Parliamentary Answer (Hansard, July 20, col. 172) The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Terence Higgins, said: "VAT is in essence a tax on consumer expenditure in the domestic economy, and exported goods, including works of art, are relieved of the tax, under the British VAT as in all other countries' VAT systems."

Thus there is a financial incentive and (in the case of firms with outside interests) a moral obligation to sell our works of art (consumer goods?) abroad.

Could someone please explain whether the Government really has the slightest interest in preserving .our National artistic heritage? Hugh Leggett Leggatt Brothers, 30 St. James's Street, London SW