Monday, 15 December 2008

VAT reductions announced by council

Thanet district Council press release
The reduced VAT rates, announced in the government’s Pre-Budget Report of 24 November, will be passed on to local people by Thanet District Council from 1 April 2009.

The council’s announcement will cover the 2009/10 financial year, meaning that the reduction will be in place until 31 March 2010, despite the fact that the VAT rate is reverting to 17.5% from the current 15% from 1 January 2010. The council’s fees and charges schedule for 2009/10, which will be published as part of the budget setting process, will reflect this reduction.

The only exception to this will be car parking charges, because these have to be set at round amounts, as the car parking machines are not programmed to take 1p and 2p coins. The cost of changing these machines would be excessive and therefore a decision has been taken to keep car parking charges at their current level.

Cllr. Martin Wise, Cabinet Member for Finance, Improvement and Customer Services, said: “We’ve looked carefully at the implications of the government’s reduction in VAT and, keeping in mind our priority of providing value for money for our residents, we’ve taken the decision to implement the charges for the whole of the next financial year. If we had tried to implement them from now onwards, amendments would have been needed to the approved fees and charges schedule we agreed earlier this year. That’s why we’re going to implement it instead from April. People will still get the reduction, it will just be a couple of months in coming, but equally they will be able to enjoy the benefit for longer into 2010.”

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