No VAT cut for parking in H&F

Council one of three local authorities in the country not to pass on cut

Hammersmith Hospital - where parking charges reflect the old rate of VAT.

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Hammersmith and Fulham’s Conservative run council is one of just three councils in the UK not to pass on the Government’s VAT cut for its sporting, youth and hospital parking facilities, making it one of only three Councils in the UK not to do so.

The authority has been criticised by the Taxpayers Alliance for not passing on the tax cut to residents.

Labour councillor Steve Cowan said: “It’s  highly questionable whether a local government body should act in this way when - agree with it or not - the VAT cut was designed to put a bit more money into people’s pockets at a time of a global economic slowdown.”

The Government reduced the rate of VAT from

17.5 per cent to 15 percent in December 2008 to encourage spending during the current economic crisis.

However, Councillor Paul Bristow, cabinet member for residents' services at Hammersmith and Fulham Council, defended the decision.

He said: "The council has passed on the VAT reduction on the vast majority of services that it provides.

"The reduction in VAT charges for leisure services has been deferred because there is a wider review of fees and charges that will be completed shortly. The actual amounts involved are very small and the administration costs incurred to change these changes would have
been disproportionately high."

January 11, 2009