MP Tim Farron, centre right, and MEP Chris Davies show the petition, with members of the Kendal MRT

MP Tim Farron, centre right, and MEP Chris Davies show the petition, with members of the Kendal MRT

Two parliamentarians will today deliver a 6,000-signature petition calling for the scrapping of VAT on mountain rescue teams’ equipment.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron and North West MEP Chris Davies collected the names from residents in the area who backed the call for tax relief for the UK’s volunteer rescuers.

The Liberal Democrat pair visited Kendal Mountain Rescue Team’s headquarters with the petition to thank their local team for their work.

The politicians will submit a formal response to an official European Commission tax consultation calling for them to scrap all VAT paid on the life-saving equipment along with the 6,000 signatures.

Despite providing what the two Lib Dems called a fourth emergency service, members of search and rescue teams, all of whom are volunteers and whose activities are supported by donations from members of the public, currently have to pay VAT, unlike sea-based rescue services who have a special exemption.

Mr Farron said: “I want to thank the thousands of local residents who have joined the campaign and called for the EU and the Government to axe the tax that mountain rescue teams pay.

“They are the fourth emergency service and deserve to be treated as such. Without doubt the volunteers who staff our mountain rescue teams are heroes.”

European Parliamentary elections take place on 22 May.

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