Tuesday, 21 November 2017 15:14



New figures compiled by the SNP show that the party has made 139 calls for the UK government to allow Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue to be able to reclaim VAT – with this week’s budget giving the Chancellor the opportunity to finally bow to years of SNP pressure.

The unfair VAT levy has taken vital funds away from Scotland’s frontline services as the Tories continue to refuse to change the rules which currently see Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue pay VAT – the only territorial forces in the UK to do so. This is despite similar exemptions being implemented for Highways England, the BBC and Academy schools.

There are also demands for the Tories to reimburse Scotland’s emergency services with the £140 million VAT they have already paid. Any failure to do so would prove how little the Tories care about Scotland’s emergency services.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ben Macpherson said:

“The SNP has campaigned from the very beginning to end this unfair and unnecessary VAT levy – yet the Tories have been embarrassingly slow to act.

“Tory inaction and pig-headedness has cost our frontline emergency services £140 million since 2013, despite the fact that the UK government has already created exemptions for Highways England, the BBC and Academy schools.

“To end this injustice, however, not only should the VAT levy be dropped but the UK government should also refund the £140 million that Scotland’s police and fires services have already paid. If the Tories are prepared to right their wrong and allow our police and fire services to reclaim VAT in years ahead, how can they then justify keeping the money which has already been taken?

“At Westminster and at Holyrood the SNP has led from the front in calling for an end to the unjust penalising of Scotland’s emergency services when it comes to VAT.  This is a defining moment for the Chancellor and the Scottish Tories to demonstrate if he values Scotland’s police and fire services or not.”

Calls to Scrap Police and Fire Service VAT from SNP Representatives: 139

Party Press Releases: 19

Calls in Debates and Questions: 16
Calls in Motions: 2 

Calls in Debates/Questions in the Chamber: 35
Calls in Written Questions: 3
EDMs: 1
Votes in House: 3

Scottish Government
Calls in Press Releases: 2
Calls in Debates, Statements, Replies to MSPs: 34
Calls in letters to UK Government counterparts: 13
Calls in Meetings with UK Gov counterparts: 5*

SNP Representatives Calls at Conference: 3
SNP Calls in Manifestos:  3

*these are meetings which were a direct result of Scottish Government letters on the subject

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