Scotland's police force and fire brigade pay somewhere around £35 million a year in VAT. It's the only police force in the UK that has to pay VAT and the only fire brigade in the UK that has to pay VAT so it's a whole load of cash just ripped out of the hands of Scotland's firefighting capability and crimefighting capability.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer keeps refusing to do anything about it.
In June, just after Theresa May's 'cunning plan' snap election, I wrote to every newly elected MP in Scotland and asked them to join with the campaign to persuade the Chancellor and the rest of the Tory Government that Scotland shouldn't be paying a tax that isn't paid anywhere else.
I haven't had a single reply, not one response. No new Tory MP, no new Labour MP, no new Lib Dem even replied, never mind joined in. It's been left to the SNP MPs to support Scotland's police and firefighters.
The Scottish Government has kept the pressure up and will keep plugging away to try to get some movement.
The support of every single MP from a Scottish constituency should be behind that effort – but it's not.
There's word that we're finally going to get something soon – although it doesn't look like we'll be getting back the cash that's already been pocketed by London – so we'll keep on campaigning for equal treatment.
No doubt when it comes all kinds of strange people will be whooping and hollering and claiming it was them that did it. We should remember who it is that actually turns up and does the job, though.
In the meantime, we need a bit more oomph – lobby your MP and your MSPs to support the Scottish Government; it's time that Scotland got some fair treatment.
Abolish the VAT on Scotland's police and firefighters.
22/02/19 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Royston/Wardieburn Community Centre
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29/03/19 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Royston/Wardieburn Community Centre