VAT refunds to public authorities

Part of Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:15 pm ar 16 Ionawr 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cities), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury) 2:15, 16 Ionawr 2018

We support the U-turn by the UK Government to allow VAT to be reclaimed by Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. I should declare that I was a councillor on the board of Strathclyde fire and rescue when this was being discussed; I know the matter well and know the issues that the Minister referred to. There was a great deal of correspondence at that time from Scottish Government Ministers to the UK Government, requesting that the change be made, so it is with some incredulity that we hear, “Oh wait; all of a sudden we have just realised, yes, we are going to fix it now”—now, rather than several years earlier.

It seems logical that if the argument stands today and it stood in the Budget, then it stood all along, so the Government should do right by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland and refund the VAT that we are due. Given that those services’ funding was pushed on to the Scottish Government via the UK Government’s austerity agenda, they very much need that money.