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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

MORAY MP SAYS UK GOVERNMENT MUST END POLICE AND FIRE VAT ANOMALY

22/07/2015  

SNP MPs in Westminster are calling for the Treasury to look again at exempting the Scottish Police and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service from a continuing VAT anomaly.

Police Scotland is the only police authority in the UK unable to recover VAT and is liable to an annual cost of around £23 million. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is similarly disadvantaged, and is liable for an annual cost of around £10 million.

Moray’s MP Angus Robertson says the situation where Policing and Fire and Rescue Services is devolved to the Scottish Parliament but the UK Government won’t treat them the same for tax purposes as other police and fire services is ridiculous and discriminatory.

The SNP’s Mr Robertson says that, in effect, taxpayers in Moray and across Scotland are being short changed as the UK Government takes tax back that is not demanded of other forces outside Scotland.

Local MP Mr Robertson said:

“The VAT anomaly that sees the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland pay tax the Treasury that no other police and fire services pay must end. The Chancellor needs to look again at exempting those services from the burden of VAT with suitable backdating. It is simply unfair as it is.

“Currently more than 30 million pounds is handed back to the Treasury because of this unfair tax setup. It is simply equivalent to a backdoor budget cut for Scotland and it is discriminatory to taxpayers here in Moray and across Scotland.

“Not only does it take money directly from our emergency services but it also adds administrative pressure for those having to process these tax payments.

“This is an issue of fairness and we are pushing the UK Government to act urgently to sort this issue once and for all.”

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