What sav­ings from fire ser­vice merger?

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - Opinion -

sug­gest that the coun­cil go back to the draw­ing board with this and come up with some­thing more ac­cept­able. Jamie Black­burn, Walker Court, Kin­lochleven SIR, – The Scot­tish Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Derek Mackay ob­jects to the fire ser­vice in Scot­land pay­ing VAT. The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment chose a route for­ward which it knew would have VAT costs rather than seek an­other which could have had a VAT ex­emp­tion and they and their sup­port­ers are now “out­raged” and seek­ing to blame West­min­ster again as part of their jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for Indyref2.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment de­clared that the merger of fire ser­vices would make sav­ings of £1.7bil­lion over 15 years with no VAT ex­emp­tion. If any­one re­sponds to this letter could they please say how we are get­ting on in re­la­tion to the pro­jected sav­ings, oth­er­wise I might cyn­i­cally be­lieve that the changes were de­signed to in­crease cen­tral gov­ern­ment con­trol and cre­ate an op­por­tu­nity to blame West­min­ster for a sit­u­a­tion they did not cre­ate. Roy Roxburgh, North Dee­side Road, Cults, Aberdeen but it is but one ex­am­ple of such folly – one can re­call the ridicu­lous tree plant­ing in Haddo Coun­try park over a year ago where large num­bers of trees had to be re­sited after hav­ing been planted in­ap­pro­pri­ately. I won­der if those com­mit­ting our cash to such projects would be as care­less with their own money?

Chris Rowe, Tain­dore, Meadaple, Roth­ienor­man

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