Michael Fabricant has called on the Treasury to stop taxing the heroes and
heroines who died for their country. Over the last two years, the National
Memorial Arboretum has been debating with Customs and Excise over whether
VAT should be charged for donations given to set up memorials for Britain’s
war dead. These include the seamen who ran convoys to Russia, the
Normandy Veterans, the RAF Servicing Commando, ATS Ack-Ack, the British
Palestine Police, the Dunkirk Veterans, Service personnel murdered in
Northern Ireland – the list goes on and on. The sum involves around
£25,000 a year. "Not much to the Department of Customs and Excise, but a
huge amount to a national charity like our National Memorial Arboretum"
says Michael Fabricant.
The Arboretum which commemorates Britain’s war dead, is based at Alrewas in
Michael Fabricant’s constituency and will be visited by HM The Queen on
Wednesday (3rd July). Michael will also be present.
"Customs and Excise are arguing that a tree dedicated to someone shot in
Northern Ireland is a ‘taxable supply’ just like buying a new DVD player.
I have read the correspondence from the Customs and Excise and it is almost
obscene in ignoring the sensibilities of loved ones. To whom is the tree
being ‘supplied’? Certainly not the serviceman killed in service for his or
her country. On the one hand, the Ministry of Defence supports the work of
the National Memorial Arboretum; on the other hand, the Government is
taxing those who contribute.
"I have now written to the Financial Secretary at the Treasury, Ruth Kelly
MP, asking her to intervene swiftly in this matter. I am sure – at least
I hope – it is not now Government policy to tax our national war dead."