Everyone knows that the Air Ambulance services in the UK can give life-saving aid, by quickly getting to a casualty and evacuating them to hospital, especially in congested city centres and isolated rural places. What everybody may not know is that all UK Air Ambulances are charity run. They depend on donations from the public to keep flying, and it costs about £2500 an hour to keep a helicopter in the air.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the sea equivalent, in that they too depend on donations to keep the Lifeboat Service going. As long ago as the 1970s, the Lifeboats were given the privilege of having their VAT paid back to them, a concession not made to all charities, so the Air Ambulances do not share in it.
This petition asks the UK Gov to return, in the form of grants to Air Ambulance Service providers, all the future VAT which the Treasury collects from them, so that the Air Ambulance Service is in practice exempt from paying VAT in the same way as the Lifeboat Service.
In the past, I've said how cynical I am about these e-petitions, but this is such a good cause that it overcomes any doubt.
Please sign the petition!