VAT on Air Ambulance Fuel Payments

Part of United Kingdom Borders – in the House of Commons at 4:52 pm on 11 July 2012.

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Photo of Hugh Bayley Hugh Bayley NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation 4:52, 11 July 2012

The hon. Gentleman makes a powerful point. It is important that the Treasury focuses on the fact that the air ambulance service is an emergency service that saves lives, just like the lifeboat service. I used to run a charity, and much as I would love every charity to be exempt from paying VAT, that would be a very expensive ask. This is a limited and specific ask of the Government. As I said, it would not be too costly. More importantly, as I am sure he will acknowledge, it is the right thing to do.

If the motion is agreed to, Ken Sharpe and the 150,000 members of the public who have signed the e-petition will move into a slightly difficult period. They will have got over the hurdle of securing the Government’s attention, but there will then be a period, at least until the Budget in the spring, when the Government are considering the position. It will appear to the public as though not a lot is going on. My advice to members of the public who support the cause is: do not let up on the pressure, and keep reminding the Government that this issue will not go away. The best way for a citizen to lobby the Government is through their Member of Parliament. I invite every single one of those 150,000 people to e-mail or write to their MP and ask them to contact the Treasury, asking how the study is going. In that way, we can continue to remind the Government that this change is both the right thing to do and has a high level of support from the public.