Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy has today called for an exemption from VAT for mountain rescue teams and has committed to supporting EU-wide legislation to this effect.
The Midlands Northwest candidate said:
“Mountain Rescue Services save hundreds of lives every year and work with limited funding to make our beautiful countryside accessible to all, all year round.
“As an integral part of our tourism infrastructure it is therefore important that these teams are not only supported but are championed by government and EU institutions for their enormous value.
“These services are funded in full by contributions from the public and workers receive no remuneration despite risking their own lives day and daily. The rescue teams currently must pay VAT on all purchase of equipment used as part of rescue missions.
“We in Sinn Féin believe that there is a public interest in exempting all of the state’s Mountain Rescue Teams from VAT. Its impact on the teams and for the wider public would be significant.
“The mountain rescue provides an invaluable service in rural Ireland. Such life-saving services should not have to scrimp and save to pay for the work they do. Exempting them from VAT would be an important first step to giving these teams the support that they need to continue their trojan work.”