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

The hon. Gentleman knows that we have been arguing this case in this House since we got here. I was in this very room—in this very spot—when my colleague Roger Mullin made this argument in July 2015. We tabled amendments to the Finance Bill 2015 and to each subsequent Finance Bill, and we have made this argument on numerous occasions here and in the Chamber. We are glad about the change, but we think it is only good, right and fair that it is backdated to reflect the fact that the argument has stood all along.

It is interesting that the Scottish Conservatives have tried to claim that this is some great victory, but the Government’s Red Book, at the top of page 39, speaks of combined authorities in England and Wales being eligible for VAT refund, so I would contend that the Government were almost caught out by this. They had to make the change for Scotland because they were going to make the change for England and Wales, whereupon the argument became utterly compelling and there was no other way for them to get themselves out of the hole. I am very glad indeed that they are doing it.