Dearne MPs lead calls for air ambulance tax break

dearne MPs are leading calls for a debate in the House of Commons asking the Government to give a tax break for air ambulances.

John Healey and Kevin Barron are two of the main signatories to an Early Day Motion which asks for the Government to refund to air ambulances all the VAT they pay on fuel.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance Charity must raise £7,200 per day to keep both of the county’s air ambulances maintained and in the air.

Last year the Yorkshire Air Ambulance purchased around 170,000 litres of fuel and incurred £5,799.06 in VAT costs.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said: “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies on donations to keep its two helicopters in the air and saving lives, so it would be an enormous help to them if the government were to return to them the amount of VAT which is collected.

“They provide a really valuable service for people in our region and have saved many lives.”

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is one of 20 air ambulance independent charities in the UK providing a service to five million people across Yorkshire. They operate two helicopters in the region, one in North Yorkshire and the other at Leeds Bradford International Airport.

They attend road traffic collisions, hospital transfers and other medical emergencies where a road ambulance would have difficulty attending quickly enough.

Special provision is made in the EU VAT Directive for the zero-rating of fuel for use by the Lifeboat Service, but no provision is made for the air ambulance services.

Paul Gowland, of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: “We are constantly striving to raise the vital finds required to keep the Yorkshire Air Ambulances in the air and operational, therefore any reimbursements or donations would be very greatly received by the Charity.”