Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Air Ambulance statement on Budget

Photo: Air Ambulance Pilot, Captain Kevin Goddard, pictured today (Thursday) re-fuelling the helicopter at its base

Following the Chancellor’s announcement in yesterday’s Budget, here is a statement from Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Chief Executive Adrian Bell.

He said: “The charity currently spends about £180,000 on aviation fuel per year, of which five per cent is VAT, therefore our total VAT bill is about £8,000 a year.

“I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement on VAT but note that it is a five-year grant of £65,000 per year for all Air Ambulance charities throughout the UK. I am therefore unclear as to whether we will get back our full VAT fuel bill each year.

“I am more interested in his decision to provide a new helicopter for London Air Ambulance out of the LIBOR fines fund because if this opens up access for us to that fund then I welcome it because we have some substantial capital expenditure projects as a result of our investment in night flying.

“If it doesn’t open up access to this fund for us then I find the Chancellor’s announcement perverse.”

More than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for Air Ambulances in the UK to be exempt from paying VAT on their aviation fuel.

It takes more than 560 litres to refill each of Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s two helicopters which burn 255 litres every hour when airborne.

On average, the helicopters use 500 litres to fly to an emergency and airlift an injured patient to a trauma centre in London.

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