Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie has re-iterated the call for the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service to be exempt from VAT.
Mr Hosie said:
I cannot understand why the Westminster government has refused to exempt the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service from value added tax (VAT), despite repeated demands from the Scottish Government and politicians of all persuasions. ...
I agree with the Fire Brigade Union, who simply cannot see why VAT rules apply uniquely to Scotland, while the rest of the UK is exempt."
Official figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) estimate The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s annual VAT bill at around £10 million.
Mr Hosie continued: "The annual VAT bill of The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s would pay for an additional 337 firefighters,.
I am sure that most Scots would agree with the Scottish Government and the Fire Brigade Union that the Treasury should think again and eliminate this anomaly, which would free up valuable resources for the fire and rescue service in Scotland."
Mr Hosie has signed the cross party Early Day Motion 156 supporting the campaign:
SCOTTISH FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE VAT •Session: 2017-19 •Date tabled: 11.07.2017
That this House notes the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) continues to be liable for VAT, which means that it has 20 per cent greater running costs than equivalent services in England and Wales; further notes that this anomaly was apparent when the SFRS was formed; recognises that the effect of the anomaly is to reduce the quality of service to the Scottish public; and calls on the Government to allow the SFRS to reclaim its VAT.
(picture shows Stewart at the recent "Love Your Firefighter" event at Parliament. See more