MSP Gil Paterson has called the dropping of VAT charges to Scotland’s police and fire services “the SNP’s victory”.
In the budget today, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced the charge would be dropped for Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Centre.
Previously, they had been the only two forces in the United Kingdom to be charged VAT — an anomaly caused by the creation of two national forces.
Ownership had transferred from local government to the Scottish Government, the latter of which does not get refunded on VAT.
Mr Paterson said:
“Well done to all of those in the SNP who have been raising awareness of the scandalous singling out of Scotland’s police and fire services when it comes to VAT.
“Clearly, the UK Government has been left with no other option, thanks to the massive public profile SNP MPs and MSPs have given this important issue.
“It’s all very well to cancel this incredibly damaging policy but to make up for it, the chancellor should have returned the £140 million to the two forces that they have paid so far.
“You have to laugh at the Scottish Tory politicians trying to claim credit for this despite either ignoring the issue or telling us in every debate in recent years that it will never change. This is the SNP’s victory.”