Alison Thewliss MP sitting at her desk in Parliament

MP slams UK Government over delays for museum funding

Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, has today that museums across the UK are losing out on thousands of pounds of funding due to delays in processing VAT refunds by the UK Government.

The VAT (Refund of Tax to Museums and Galleries) (Amendment) Order 2017, which provides for VAT refunds for musems and art galleries, was first announced in the 2016 Spring Budget. Over a year later, and despite Parliament sitting for over 5 weeks since the election, the legislation has still not been enacted by Parliament.

At Business Questions, Ms Thewliss called on Government Ministers today to bring the VAT relief scheme into operation as soon as possible. A motion has also been tabled, signed by MPs from across the House of Commons with affected museums in their constituencies, to call on the UK Government to put the draft law on the statute book immediately.

Speaking after Business Questions, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“Museums and art galleries across Scotland and the UK have unique and specialist collections which enrich our culture and heritage. With incomes for culture and the arts facing swingeing cuts from the UK Government, the VAT relief scheme is increasingly important to allow museums to devote more resources to educating and informing the public.

“The weakness of the UK Government is clear for all to see – not only have they had to ditch many planned Bills following the Prime Minister’s botched election gamble, it now transpires that they are unable to get simple, uncontroversial statutory instruments through Parliament quickly.

“Museums and art galleries across the UK are suffering from the dithering at the heart of Theresa May’s weak and wobbly Government. The Government must act now to honour the applications made for VAT refunds and provide certainty for hard-pressed museums and art galleries across the UK.”

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