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 arguments are as compelling today as they were in 2015, in 2012, or at any other point. The coincidence of it having to be done for certain fire services in certain combined authorities in England and Wales makes the case that this should have been done all along.

We welcome this measure. We tabled our new clause, which we will press to a vote at the appropriate stage, because we would like to see some more detail about the administrative consequences and the impact on revenue of allowing retrospective claims. We know that the Government will do things in retrospect—other parts of the Bill enable them to enforce regulations relating to tax avoidance and claim money back in retrospect—so there is no argument that moneys cannot be claimed back if people should have known about them before. The Government are willing to make allowances and make changes if there are things that people might or might not have reasonably known. They have made such changes in other parts of the Finance Bill. We have received lots of correspondence from people who feel as though they have been hard done by a measure the Government are introducing now, which they see as retrospective and unfair. If the Government are allowing retrospective measures elsewhere, why will they not allow it here so that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland get the money they have been due all along?