SNP and Tories claim credit as Scots cops and fire service set for £30million VAT boost
Philip Hammond is expected to concede the case for making Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service exempt from VAT in Wednesday’s budget – leaving the Scottish Tories and the SNP squabbling over who should get the credit.
Chancellor Philip Hammond poised to exempt Scottish emergency services from future VAT
Philip Hammond is poised to exempt Scotland’s police and fire and rescue services from future VAT payments in tomorrow’s Budget but will stop short to agreeing a £140 million Treasury refund for past payments. Whitehall insiders cautioned against giving too much credence to suggestions from Westminster sources that the Chancellor was about to reimburse the two services for £140m they have paid to the Treasury in VAT since becoming single national bodies in 2013. Rather, it was suggested Mr Hammond would seek to draw a line under the political controversy by introducing a future exemption.
Labour urges support for domestic abuse court roll-out
MSPs set to debate a new law which criminalises psychological abuse and coercive control. Labour has appealed for cross-party support for its proposal to roll out domestic abuse courts across Scotland. MSPs will debate a new domestic abuse law at Holyrood today which criminalises psychological abuse and coercive control. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson introduced the Domestic Abuse Bill to the Scottish Parliament in March and it is now at the second stage. Labour’s justice spokeswoman Claire Baker has lodged an amendment to the proposed legislation to end the “postcode lottery” over having cases heard by specialist domestic abuse courts.
Armed police patrol Edinburgh’s Christmas market amid terror fears
These images show the “rings of steel” protecting Scotland’s Christmas markets as security is bolstered amid fears of Berlin-style copycat terror attacks. Armed police, large concrete barriers and stop and search checks are being carried out at festive markets up and down the UK as many opened to the public last week.