Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Police and fire VAT update

UNISON Scotland did a follow up Freedom of Information request to the Scottish Government on the Issue of exempting the new centralised police and fire services from VAT. This was to get the latest exchanges between the Scottish Government and HM Treasury. 

The e.mails explain that, as we predicted, the Scottish Government tried to use the local funding of additional police officers as a basis for arguing the necessary local taxation element to bring the provisions in line with the purpose of s33. The Treasury minister in a letter dated 17 July sets out why. A bit of discretionary funding for services, that don't in any case attract VAT, doesn't meet the test. The key line in this letter says;

"We have been unable to persuade you to alter your reforms to introduce an element of local funding which is consistent with the guidance".

They are not the only ones! 

No great surprise but it does confirm our position that it is the Scottish Government's obsession with centralisation that is costing police and fire service over £30m. Money that could be better employed fighting crime and fire.

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