Air ambulance, Guy Opperman (Hexham) (Conservative): I beg to move,

Posted: July 12, 2012 by tchannon in government, Legal, media, Politics

Given Tallbloke’s support for the air ambulance service in Yorkshire a debate in the House of Commons 11th July 2012 is of considerable interest, mentioning Hammond and Yorkshire.

Previous post by Rog

He writes

“It’s a long story.

Back in 2006, while I was still flat on my broken back in a kevlar overcoat on my sofa, Richard ‘The Hamster’ Hammond had a go at breaking the ‘flying mile’ land speed record, in a jet powered car.


“Guy Opperman (Hexham) (Con):
I beg to move,

That this House supports wholeheartedly the work and actions of the Air Ambulance Service nationally, and all the individual crew members and staff, who provide an outstanding service to people up and down the UK; notes that the Air Ambulance Service is a charitable organisation, funded by donations given by the general public, and without any direct funding from Government; further notes that the Air Ambulance Service has saved successive governments millions of pounds; notes that the Air Ambulance Service provides an emergency service similar to the Lifeboat Service, and that the Lifeboat Service has been excluded from the EU VAT Directive on fuel costs since 1977, whereas the Air Ambulance Service has been required to pay for VAT on fuel; notes that successive governments have failed to provide a rebate or exemption to the Air Ambulance Service for this VAT; calls on the Government to conduct an urgent review of this situation; and further calls on the Government, in the next 12 months, to consider providing for grants to the Air Ambulance Service commensurate to the sums incurred by the Air Ambulance Service for the VAT on the fuel they purchase, and to publish the outcome of that review within this timescale.

This is a cross-party debate arriving from an e-petition that has approximately 150,000 signatures and is supported by many Members up and down the land.



Read the whole thing on the Hansard site (official transcripts) and might have video too.  Note: Uncorrected version, link will change. (I’ll edit it later)

I am unable to discover how to provide Commons content as a direct result of the incompetence of the government staff involved. This breach of trust is just part of the endemic incompetence of officials over many years. Note the subject of the discussion in The House has a core of exactly this subject.

It is in Hansard Volume 548 No. 30 if they can get that right and actually provide access.

This link might work for a while but then they will fiddle with the IT again.

Copyright is a dire mess, obfuscated by incompetence, mentions a licence but then omits to provide such a text where they indicate.  Typical civil service junk. This whole thing will also be highly unstable, so I cannot give a working link. [/update]

At the end the official answer was excuses, we can’t, would mean changing the law or getting all the EU states to agree. Yeah right wimp.

There is always a way around. How about increasing the grant to the charities and anyway the NHS ought to pay anyway, damn stupid these services are funding by us on top of taxes.

Lets make a lie crystal clear. VAT is Sales Tax.

co-mod (not Tallbloke)

  1. Brian H says:

    Could it be the civil service is in the habit/business of creating problems and messes only it can solve? If it every gets around to it?

    Nah. Perish the thought!

  2. Ian W says:

    Problem is that UK always gold plates any regulations coming from the EU. Go to any other member state and they ignore the regulations that they don’t like. Having had the misfortune to be involved in some of the regulatory discussions, the rest of the member states cannot understand why the UK is so persnickety over the regulations when they are being discussed – as the rest of the states have the attitude – if they don’t work don’t apply them. But we have a ‘government’ that argues about pasties and room temperatures etc etc. none of them have the guts to behave like say Margaret Thatcher. The best way out would be to organize the air ambulance as an offshoot of the life boat service and stop asking them for VAT. If any Bruxelles Bureaucrat gets irritated just look blandly at them and say they are life boats so no VAT, don’t tell me what the English language means! 🙂