Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron leads campaign for tax exemption

He wants mountain and cave rescue charities to be spared fuel tax and VAT

A Liberal Democrat MP is campaigning to win exemptions from fuel tax and VAT for mountain and cave rescue teams.

Tim Farron, the party's MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, wants the coalition government to provide rescue teams with a VAT refund each year - a policy that was part of the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

"We're hopeful," said a spokesman for Farron. "We're still awaiting a response from the Treasury, but this is something we can make a strong case for. These are emergency services, and they should be treated differently."

Andy Simpson, a volunteer with Mountain Rescue, said that mountain and cave rescue teams in England got no government funding and paid about £200,000 a year in tax, mostly on fuel and essential equipment.

The RNLI does not pay VAT on similar supplies, although it does pay tax on other expenditure.

"Mountain Rescue teams do not want to be paid for the work they do," said Simpson. "But neither do they want to have to fundraise to pay tax on lifesaving equipment."

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