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MP welcomes VAT refund for Mountain Rescue teams

December 3, 2014 4:10 PM

Tim Farron with Andy Dell of Kendal Mountain RescueSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that VAT will be refunded for our Mountain Rescue, Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance teams. The refund, announced in today's Autumn Statement, comes after years of campaigning by the MP.

The new policy replaces from the previous arrangements, where teams would receive a grant to offset some of their VAT costs. That was first won by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mountain Rescue, vice chaired by Tim, back in 2011 - but was due to expire this year.

Tim said: "This is fantastic news and will make a massive difference to our vital search and rescue teams. It has always struck me as deeply unfair that an emergency service which saves people's lives everyday, has to pay tax on the vital equipment that they use - especially when virtually all of their funding comes from charitable donations. That's why I have been campaigning for so long to stop these teams having to pay VAT. Our Mountain Rescue teams do amazing work for people in desperate need. I cannot praise them highly enough - their determination and bravery are truly inspiring.

"Today's announcement would not have been possible without the work of the late Stewart Hulse from Windermere. As a member of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, Stewart helped me gather the evidence to present to Minister to firstly secure the grant funding, and now this refund. I want to pay tribute to him as we celebrate this important victory."