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Farron Calls on Government to Repay Taxes to Mountain Rescue Heroes

January 12, 2010 12:00 AM

Following a week in which Mountain Rescue Teams across the country have been providing vital emergency support to help deal with the adverse conditions caused by blizzard like weather, South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has called on the Government to show their appreciation by delivering some much needed financial support to the organisation.

Mountain Rescue Teams have been helping emergency services cope with treacherous weather conditions by providing vehicle support to ambulance crews and rescuing vehicles stuck in the snow. Mountain rescue teams have also provided vital help to farmers struggling to get supplies to their farms as well as rescuing walkers who have become lost in the blizzards.

Despite providing a service which is estimated to save the taxpayer £6million a year, Mountain Rescue teams still have to pay VAT and vehicle excise duty (VED) on much of their equipment and vehicles.

Mr Farron has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling on the Government to repay the money taken from Mountain Rescue teams in VAT and VED as a demonstration of gratitude for the exemplary service during the last week.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"When local people and visitors put money into the mountain rescue teams' collection buckets, they do not expect the treasury to snatch a sixth of their donation. 100% of those funds should go to helping mountain rescue volunteers to provide their vital service.

"Time and time again the Government has offered nothing but lip service to Mountain Rescue teams instead of the financial support that they need. Mountain rescue teams save the government in excess of £ 6,000,000 per year, but it appears that the government is prepared to take all and give nothing in return

"Ministers must act to ease the cash burden on Mountain Rescue Team. A good start would be for them to repay the £200k taken from Mountain Rescue teams as an act of fairness and of real tangible gratitude to our emergency services."