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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.”

Paisley’s MSP Condemns Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Announcements Show Brexit “Will Hit Poorest Hardest”

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has condemned the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – which drove home the fact that Brexit and continuing austerity will hit poorest families hardest.

 

Philip Hammond revealed the staggering level of borrowing needed to fill the Brexit blackhole in government finances and failed to halt the Tories’ austerity onslaught – policies that have proven so damaging to families and communities throughout Paisley.

 George Serious Paisley Town Hall

The Chancellor announced a rise in insurance premiums which will mean rising costs for hard pressed families in Paisley. The Autumn Statement came alongside forecasts from the OBR, predicting consumers will be squeezed by the rising cost of exports due to a weak pound caused by Brexit – which will hit family budgets in supermarkets and shops across Paisley.

 

The retailer, Mothercare, and former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King have both warned this week of expected price rises of around 5% in children’s clothes and groceries due to Brexit.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“The Chancellor has just proved that this UK government simply does not care for working families across Paisley – with the full impact of Brexit yet to come.

 

“We are already seeing the impact of leaving the EU hitting consumers, with OBR figures showing that the rising cost of imports due to a fall in the value of Sterling will cause prices of products to rise in our supermarkets and shops – as industry leaders have warned in recent weeks. Insurance premiums are also on the rise – yet another UK government policy that will hit the poorest hardest.

 

“The Chancellor has completely failed to protect those on low incomes – continuing with the failed austerity onslaught that has been deeply damaging to families and communities across Paisley. Think-tanks and charities have rightly condemned this, with lower earnings, benefit cuts and higher costs providing a bleak outlook for people throughout Paisley – and this is before the full impact of Brexit is felt.

 

“We already know that Brexit could cost up to 80,000 jobs in Scotland and take £11.2 billion from our economy every year – and the Chancellor has not done enough to help prevent this happening, or to fill the forecasted £220 billion Brexit black hole.

 

“Piecemeal offerings from Philipp Hammond have been more than offset by the deeply damaging impact of this Tory government’s policies – and people across Paisley will be feeling the effects of the Tories’ regressive policies for a long time to come.”