“Another Tory betrayal of Scottish communities”: local MSP challenges Chancellor over unfair VAT charges
Northern and Leith MSP Ben Macpherson has written to the Chancellor Philip Hammond calling on him to take immediate action to cancel their unfair VAT charges on Scotland’s Police and Fire services which cost the forces £35 million a year.
The two emergency services are the only ones in the UK subject to this VAT charge – which has cost them a total of £140 million since 2014. The local SNP MSP is also asking that the Chancellor repays Scotland’s Police and Fire services this much needed income.
The UK government recently changed the rules to allow Highways England and Academy Schools to reclaim VAT – but has so far stubbornly refused to treat Scotland’s emergency services the same way.
Ben Macpherson, who is a member of Holyrood’s Justice Committee, Ben Macpherson MSP, said: “Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are currently the only territorial forces in the UK who cannot reclaim VAT – a remarkably unfair situation.
“This is impacting our frontline services, by unnecessarily taking resources from Police Scotland and our Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. Since 2013 this has amounted to a total of £140 million, £35 million a year, that Scotland’s emergency services have had to unfairly pay – our emergency services should be able to reclaim this money and refunded the £140 million they’ve already paid.
“The UK Government have recently changed the rules to allow Highways England and Academy Schools to reclaim VAT, and all we are asking is that Scotland’s emergency services are treated equally. It is a completely reasonable and justifiable request.
“Philip Hammond and the UK government must act to protect Scotland’s public services and they must do this now. Anything less would be yet another Tory betrayal of Scottish communities.”
See below for copy of the letter: