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That Zero VAT children shoes need to catch up with the size of kids feet

(89 Posts)
Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 09:44:57

Hooping that venting my frustration on here will save me venting in front of my DD as we struggle to find shoes that fit her, are age appropriate and VAT free

She is 10, the height of a 13 year old, 4 out of the 12 girls in her class are the same height as her.

But it's the shoes that really get me, she is size 6 1/2. Not suprising when mine are size 8 and I was that size by the time I was 13 over 30 years ago. So it's not a new thing even!

Yesterday I tried to find her some basic trainers. Most sports shops stopped at size 5. Clarks had just one style for her to chose, thankfully they fit.

Returning home I've looked at Clarks girls shoes web site and the only options on there for her are basic black school shoes (thankfully they go beyond her size) and one pair of trainers. Nothing else.

AIBU to think that as childrens feet sizes have grown over the last few decades, that the VAT rules should keep up?

On a positive note, the ladies in Clarks were lovely, an elderly lady was trying in kids trainers and they were so lovely to her, really thoughtful and caring.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 10:28:18

designed for young children I might be wrong but I don't think any of us would be wearing Lelli Kellies or what ever they are called?

thesnootyfox Fri 22-Feb-13 10:28:30

Before I had children I was a size 6/8 and I sometimes used to wear children's clothes (Diesel jeans mainly) because they were the right length for me. I find it laughable that I would have been considered a tax dodger.

I hardly think this is a huge problem for the Government. We are getting fatter as a nation and they are considering introducing new taxes to fast food. A very small minority of people squeeze themselves into kids clothes. It's a non issue.

mysteryfairy Fri 22-Feb-13 10:28:52

My DD has just turned 11 and at exactly five feet tall is one of the tallest in her year of 80 girls. Apparently the fiftieth centile height for a 13 year old is 61.5 inches so I think your sample of girls must be an unusually tall group if a third of them has already hit this height.

DD has size 3 feet and I would say that is bigger than average for her age - just not convinced that there are loads of ten year olds around with size 6.5 feet - thats bigger than me and I am 5ft 10!

Consulting the clarks website there is a huge selection of styles available to a 5, a pretty good selection to a 6 and a wide range of school shoes in 6.5, some styles of which go as high as 9!

That seems fair enough to me as I would have thought for the vast majority of girls they would have outgrown any desire to be seen in clarks shoes for anything other than school by the time they outgrew a 6 so I don't blame Clarks for not making a wider range!

Trills Fri 22-Feb-13 10:33:01

If they made "school shoes" in my size I would buy them to wear to work.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 10:33:05

I expect Clarks swallows the VAT in its pricing for children's ranges that go into sizes that attract VAT ie they either charge a flat price across the range or a price from, say, 12-3 and then a slightly higher price 4-6.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 10:33:34

YY trills. Most work shoes are nowhere near as comfortable.

VinegarDrinker Fri 22-Feb-13 10:39:01

I am going to look in the Clarks kids shoes section for me now, would happily wear trainers, wellies or "school shoes" from there! I can't think of any style that would be acceptable to the average 13 yr old girl but not to me..

feckwit Fri 22-Feb-13 10:40:00

You can get cheap adult shoes. My DS is a size 9 shoe, he is 13, we just buy cheap adult shoes. I avoid Clarks - totally overpriced imo.

Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 10:41:56

Trills There are Clarks school shoes in larger sizes

Only one pair of trainers and no out of school shoes.

Is age ten really grown up? sad

Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 10:47:34

Children's feet grow until they are 13 or older and they need more new shoes than adults, the reason I think they should be VAT free.

If I buy a new pair of shoes for myself, it is only half the time because they really are too worn to be of any use. Saying that I only buy 2 or 3 pairs a year on average. I'm happy to pay VAT

If my DDs shoes are too small, they will cause her problems. What about parents who really can't afford new shoes for their child aged 10 who have over a size 6 foot. Should that child grow up with bunions etc?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 10:57:05

Hope, what change is it that you would suggest?

Hopeforever Fri 22-Feb-13 11:35:29

I'd like it that shoes like these

Are available for ten and eleven year olds with size 6 to 7 feet

That might need the government looking at its rules?

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 11:47:25

See paragraph 4.3 - if Clarks could show that those shoes were exclusively designed for and marketed to under 14s then they can sell them VAT free at sizes above 5.5:


What I expect they do is pick their most "school-like" of ranges and apply for the exemption, then market the ones they "win", and perhaps take a hit themselves on one or two.

I'd happily wear the Erica Abby or the Mushroom Boat in your link so it would be hard to pass all of them, I'd've thought.

steppemum Fri 22-Feb-13 11:48:31

I really wish there was some way of producing passport at purchase, and if the child buying the shoes fits the passport, VAT is waived.

My ds is 10. He wears adult size 8. He grows out of shoes before they are worn out. He also wears clothes size 13-14

dd1 is 7, she wears clothes size 9-10. Although her feet are more moderate!

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 11:52:01

I suppose they could have some kind of ID scheme for clothes and shoes but all retailers would have to have the right systems and the ability to add VAT for a 14 year old in a size 6 vs take it off for a 10 year old.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Fri 22-Feb-13 11:54:24

They'd then have to have an inspection system to see if ID was being correctly checjed...

steppemum Fri 22-Feb-13 12:12:03

I know it is probably impossible, but I would like to think that some type of scheme could be worked out.

WhatKindofFool Fri 22-Feb-13 12:17:48

I could easily fit into VAT free kids clothes but I don't want to look like a child so I don't. I'm not convinced about the chancellor's worries about "abuse".

landofsoapandglory Fri 22-Feb-13 12:19:49

Both my DSes have size 13 feet, and DH has size 14! You can buy socks the same price as everyone else in M&S, adverse. Matalan have them sometimes too.

Anyhow, DS2(16) is still at school, I can't remember the last time he was in less than a size 6 shoe, or his PE wasn't adult size so didn't have VAT (says so on form). It is really annoying, but I am small and have size 5 feet so buy what I can in children's departments!

notsofrownieface Fri 22-Feb-13 12:24:57

I am a size 6 foot and I buy the kids school shoes in Brantano as they tend to be cheaper and more comfortable than the 'woman's' alternative.

mysteryfairy Fri 22-Feb-13 12:32:51

I don't think its anything to do with the government rules that the page of shoes linked to aren't all available in huge sizes though. I think it is clarks making a judgement that the market for them would be too limited to make a profit out of selling them. Just like they stop making toddler shoes at a certain size and presumably there are some toddlers who outgrow the size range whilst the shoes would still be age appropriate - it's a commercial decision.

calidadsuprema Fri 22-Feb-13 13:08:25

Part of the problem of buying children's shoes is the rate their feet grow. My DD 's (just 10) feet have grown from size 1.5 to 4.5 in 12 months. This means I have had to buy shoes (school shoes, casual shoes, dance shoes)which only last a few months. As an adult size 4.5 I can wear shoes I have had for years so having paid VAT on them is no big deal. Having to pay an extra 20% on the cost of a growing child's shoes when replacing them every few months would hurt!

IsItMeOr Fri 22-Feb-13 13:36:25

I suspect mysteryfairy is right.

As I have size 6 feet, I would love some patent black emma jane style shoes, as I desperately wanted some as a child and never had any.

sydlexic Fri 22-Feb-13 14:03:04

I have size 4 feet and DGD age 10 is size five. It is a difficult problem to solve. No Vat on any shoes would be good.

5madthings Fri 22-Feb-13 14:06:20

I have this problem with ds1 and ds2, ds2 is actually one of the shorter ones in his yr group but has big feet and ds3 is 8 yes old and already in size 3. Not only that my boys have wide feet with a high instep so Clark's sand startite, brantano etc don't have shoes to fit. We end up getting ricosta, pepino, geox etc and pay £50 a pair, ds1 last pair were £60!!

But I have size four feet and so recently bought myself a pair if childrens hunter wellies, ditto crocs I get kids ones and occasionally trainers, tho I recently bought a decent pair if saucony running shoes .. £95!! But my feet aren't growing so I will wears till the wear out.

But tho I have small feet, I had bug boobs at a young age do had too buy women's tops etc.

I find it MORE annoying that we omen have to pay vat on sanitary products etc yet men don't have to pay baton razors and some male grooming products!! How the fuck is that fair.

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