VAT break is a real boost for our operations, say air ambulance chiefs bucked by Budget

Air ambulance chiefs who provide mercy flights for seriously ill people across the county say a Budget move to give them a tax break is a real shot in the arm.

VAT will no longer be payable on fuel for all air ambulance services across the UK, Chancellor George Osborne announced in Wednesday’s statement.

That means that the Herts & Essex charity will save around £5,500 a year. With the cost per mission at £2,500, potentially two more lives could be saved every year.

The move follows more than 12 months of lobbying with MPs spearheaded by the Association of Air Ambulances and the Air Ambulance All Party Parliamentary Group pressing for the VAT deal.

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust operations director Cliff Gale said: “On behalf of everyone at the charity I would like to thank everyone who have been involved in petitioning the government. It is their efforts that have resulted in this landmark announcement.”