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Chancellor U-Turns On Police And Fire Rescue VAT

SNP Campaign Win For Paisley As Chancellor U-Turns On Police And Fire VAT

However Tories Still Owe Scotland £140 Million

Intense SNP pressure on the UK government has paid off for Scotland’s emergency services after the Chancellor finally backed down to allow Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue to reclaim VAT after years of unfairness.

Scotland’s emergency services had been the only territorial forces in the UK unable to reclaim VAT – which costs the forces £35 million annually. While the overdue reversal is welcomed by the SNP, the refusal to repay the £140 million already paid by Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue means the Tories continue to short-change Paisley’s emergency services.

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has criticised the UK government for this betrayal of Scottish Fire and Rescue and Police Scotland – and is calling on them to give Scotland the £140 million we are owed to help bolster police and fire services in Paisley.


Commenting, George said:

“We of course welcome the news that the UK government will no longer unfairly take £35 million from our Police and Fire budgets every year – and constant pressure from the SNP on this issue has made this win possible.

“However, the Chancellor does not go nearly far enough – and his refusal to refund the money Scotland has already paid shows how little the Tories care about Paisley’s emergency services.

“If they finally agree that it is unfair for Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue to pay VAT, how can they possibly justify keeping the money they have already taken?

“The £140 million owed to Scotland’s emergency services is a drop in the ocean compared to the £1 billion the Tories threw to the DUP to prop up a weak and wobbly Prime Minister and government.

“The Chancellor has come up short in his commitment to Paisley’s police and fire services. The refusal to repay the £140 million we are owed is simply yet another Tory betrayal of Scotland – and proves just how useless the band of Scottish Tory MPs really are.”

Scotland Must Choose Its Own Future If All Attempts To Compromise Rejected

Yesterday The Prime Minister made it clear the UK is heading for an economically disastrous hard Brexit.

Nearly seven months since the referendum – the Scottish Government is still the only administration to publish a detailed plan on how to deal with Brexit and the economic, social, democratic and cultural risks associated with it.

Scotland voted overwhelming to remain in the EU and the Scottish Government is doing all it can to make sure the Tories cannot ignore and act against Scotland’s interests.

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Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

 

“Theresa May today confirmed that she plans to take the UK towards an economically dangerous hard Brexit. The Prime Minister has chosen to pander to the obsessions of the hard-right of her Tory party, rather than act in the best interests of the country.

 

“Today’s speech made it clear she’s looking at  replacing our membership of the single market with a low wage, de-regulated economy that would see a race to the bottom – leaving everyone worse off as a result.

 

“If the Tories get away with dragging Scotland out of the EU and the Single Market they’ll think they can get away with anything.

 

“The Scottish Government has published compromise proposals that will keep Scotland in the Single Market and the Tories at Westminster must now show they are taking these plans seriously.

 

“The  Tory government must not be able to take Scotland out of the EU and the single market, regardless of the impact on our economy, jobs, living standards and our reputation as an open, tolerant country, without Scotland having the ability to choose between that and a better future.”