MSP joins bid to stop proposals which would add to cost for disabled
By Rita Campbell
Argyll and Bute MSP Jim Mather has joined a campaign to stop proposals that would see motorised mobility scooters for disabled people classified as leisure vehicles and in the same class as Formula One racing cars.
The classification would attract a 10% import tax on the scooters that would be collected by the Treasury.
Regulations from the EU to tax imported leisure vehicles would classify mobility scooters in the same category as Formula One racing cars and could mean an extra £250 being paid by disabled people.
Mr Mather said: "As a prime example of the law of unintended consequences, this proposal must come close to the top of the pack.
"Most scooters used in the UK are imported from the Far East and, in most cases, the increased tax would fall directly on the users. It is a fact disabled people are often reliant on benefit funding for support or they are in lower-paid employment. To compound this with higher charges for transport would exacerbate that situation."
Elizabeth Finn Care, a charity which is campaigning against the tax, estimates the government would benefit by about £6million.
Mr Mather added his colleague, Bill Wilson, "has already acted with commendable speed by contacting the UK Treasury and the EU tax commissioner."
He added: "I am confident my colleagues at Westminster will also look to change this ridiculous legislation."