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Kennedy welcomes mountain rescue VAT back news

August 2, 2011 5:22 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Ross, Skye & Lochaber MP Charles Kennedy, whose Highland constituency includes several of the UK's most famous mountain areas, has welcomed the confirmation today of funding arrangements which will reimburse Mountain Rescue Teams for the VAT they pay and help fund the purchase of vital equipment.

The move will see at least £200,000 made available each year by the Treasury to the Mountain Rescue Committees serving each part of the UK, of which the 24 teams operating in Scotland will receive £68,000.

Mr Kennedy said:

"It has been a longstanding anomaly that Mountain Rescue Teams are forced to pay VAT on many of their purchases, while other emergency services and the RNLI do not face that cost.

"All over the UK - but especially in the Highlands - volunteer mountain rescue teams provide levels of skill, local knowledge and experience that could never be matched by a professional service. Their work largely relies on the support of local communities and users of our hills through donations and fundraising activities. It is right that every penny of that support should be used towards saving lives in some of the most challenging environments the UK has to offer.

"It is very welcome that the Government has recognised that VAT paid by Mountain Rescue Teams should be returned."