Holy VAT inspectors! Reader Mikey has sent me a cutting from a recent edition of the Northern Echo headlined: Councils Urged To Cut Parking Fees. The story kicks off thus:
Local authorities must pass on the VAT cut announced in last week's Pre-Budget Report to help sustain small businesses and the local economy over Christmas, a business support organisation has said. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said it is concerned by reports that many local authorities are not intending to pass on the 2.5 per cent VAT reduction on their parking charges.
Mikey says: 'This got me wondering whether your own beloved local authority had passed on Chancellor Darling's VAT reduction which came into force on Monday?' Hmm. Good question Mikey! A quick snoop around the Uranians' website revealed no such festive, tax-related announcement. And a check on their fees and charges showed they're still implementing 2008-9's tariff for car park season tickets, with a rather nebulous 'Charges include VAT', but no mention of a percentage. A similar perusal of CIPFA's (the leading public sector accountancy body's) website elicited little guidance for councils, in fact not much more than an announcement that the rate had dropped.
Still, I guess we have to trust that the CIPFA brains at Thanet Council know what they're doing! Meanwhile, to get us all in the spirit, here's a rather fetching festive photo of the Chancellor: