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Solihull council fails to pass on VAT cut

CASH-strapped Solihull Council have been urged to pass on the new government VAT cut by MP Lorely Burt.

CASH-strapped Solihull Council have been urged to pass on the new government VAT cut by MP Lorely Burt.

The 2.5 per-cent reduction came into force at the end of November and major retailers have slashed prices to coincide with the change.

However local charges for services like car-parking, libraries and sports centres have yet to be altered leaving local residents short in the pocket.

Other local authorities, like neighbouring Redditch borough council for instance, have cut their prices and passed the benefit on to residents.

The MP for Solihull said the council need to respond to Chancellor Alistair Darling’s announcement immediately.

“If they are not passing on VAT then that is a poor show,” she said.

“I can understand there may be logistcal problems but there is no reason they should not be cutting VAT on leisure services.

“It’s costing us as the tax payers £12.5billion so every little bit we receive back helps.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the reduction last month to help boost the ailing UK economy and entice shoppers to part with their cash as Christmas approached.

Touchwood giants John Lewis, and Next were among the firms to drop their prices but Solihull Council has yet to follow suit.

Officials have admitted they have not yet reached a decision on how to pass on the VAT cut. Paul Johnson, director of business support at the council said: “We are currently preparing our budget proposals for 2009/10 and are looking at ways of passing the VAT reduction on through our pricing policies, concessions and other methods of support to residents and businesses experiencing hardship in the current climate.”

What do you think? Write to the Solihull News at 150 High Street, Solihull, B91 3SX or e-mail: solihull_news@mrn.co.uk.

 

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