MP Seeks fairness for Scottish Emergency Service
In a letter written to the Chancellor George Osborne, Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South asked that the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service be allowed to reclaim VAT on the goods and services they need to provide a service to the public.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service came into being on 1st April last year combining the 8 former local authority services across Scotland. The previous eligibility for VAT refunds through local authorities was therefore lost. This loss in eligibility has created an additional financial burden of £10million per year for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
Dame Anne Said
I was appalled to learn that the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and Police Scotland are the only two blue light organisations in the United Kingdom who are unable to reclaim the VAT on the goods and services they purchase in order to carry out their duties to the public.
The money they pay in VAT could provide 40 new fire appliances and over 300 firefighters and it is shocking that we are being treated in this way. I want the anomaly to end. The Chancellor has already indicated he is to carry out a review, Scottish services should be a priority in that review. It’s time that fairness was given to the Scottish Emergency Service so that more money is available to keep people safe