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Fire service failed to claim £6.2m in VAT receipts

fireWALES’ fire services failed to reclaim £6.2m in VAT receipts for almost three years, it has been revealed.

The news that £6.2m went unclaimed until March 2016 emerged in a Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service authority meeting last Thursday (Sept 29).

Elizabeth Aitken, the authority’s Assistant Chief Officer, said no VAT money was lost and ‘the whole of this amount has now been claimed’.

The budget for the fire service was not affected by this mistake.

Initially, however, money had to be borrowed to cover the shortfall, which resulted in the fire authority paying £46,000 in interest.

The reason for the error was staff sickness and a changeover in the fire service’s financial department, they said.

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Jon Coles

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