By Nicolle Cassels
SCOTTISH SNP MP Marion Fellows described the VAT on emergency services as a “Punishment for Scotland”.
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is expected to lift the VAT on police and fire services in Scotland during todays budget reveal.
She branded the Conservatives as “The enemy of public services” and urged that the VAT charges from the past 4 years ,which amount to £140 million, should be reimbursed to the Scottish Government . She also stated :
“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?”
However, a rebate for police and fire services in Scotland is not expected to happen.
The SNP have raised the issue of VAT 139 times and they say it is due to pressure from their own MPs fighting Scotland’s corner in Westminster that will ensure this tax is lifted.
Scottish police and fire services have been paying VAT since 2013 after the countries’ regional forces were merged into national forces.
If the VAT is lifted, the money saved is expected to go towards meeting police and crime targets as well as ensuring both frontline and back room staff and services are strengthened. The SNP say it would also ensure that there are larger resources available to police and fire fighters which will enable them to keep communities safe.