Fine Gael MEP for Mayo Jim Higgins has pledged his support for the introduction of a VAT exemption on mountain rescue equipment, which would significantly reduce the costs of mountain rescue teams in Mayo, as well as all over Europe.
The EU Commission is currently reviewing its VAT directive, and has called for stakeholder submissions on potential amendments before the consultation deadline on April 25. Mr Higgins has offered his full support for Irish MRTs in this process, directly petitioning the EU Commission on the issue and requesting a meeting with European Commissioner for Taxation Algirdas Semeta to discuss the proposed exemptions.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels, MEP Higgins said: “As it stands, sea rescue services benefit from a broad VAT exemption, and rightly so. These new proposals would see vital, life-saving, mountain rescue teams receive the same treatment, enabling them to better do their work in Mayo, as well as all over Ireland and Europe.”
MEP Higgins commended the work of MRTs, stating: “These teams are made up of tireless, exceptional volunteers, who provide a fantastic public service, making our beautiful mountain regions safer and more accessible to all. It’s only right that they should have the support of the EU. I’ll be backing their case here in Brussels and urging my fellow MEPs to do the same.”