Stirling MP Steven Paterson has written to the Chancellor Philip Hammond asking for a review of the current situation of VAT liability for Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Police Scotland are the only police organisation in the UK to have to pay VAT with a recent Home Affairs Select Committee in Westminster hearing that over £76.5 million being spent on VAT since April 2013 when Police Scotland was formed.
Similarly, the SFRS is the only Fire and Rescue service in the UK to pay VAT – with that bill being in the region of £10 million per year.
Mr Paterson has renewed SNP calls to have both services exempt from VAT.
Commenting, Steven Paterson said:
“It is appalling that this issue has not yet been addressed when over £75 million in VAT has been taken from our Policing budget alone. At a time when Scotland’s budget faces further cuts from continued Tory austerity, the funds we have to spend on our services is now more vital than ever.
“This value-added-tax bill is fast approaching hundreds of millions and Tory Ministers have spent far too long with their heads in the sand. Tax policy made in London must put Scotland on an equal footing as to that of the rest of the UK, it must not unduly punish Scottish services.
“Now with a new Prime Minister and her Chancellor in office, I hope that this matter can finally be resolved and that our policing and fire and rescue services can work to protect our local communities with an untampered budget.”