I find Police Scotland’s complaint about its liability for VAT rather odd.
When it was first announced that the new organisation would no longer be VAT exempt as the previous eight forces were, this was more than a year before the formation of the new force and was clearly stated by HMRC. The same applies to the restructured fire service. I do not know the ins and outs of the reason for this but it apparently hinges round the fact that these are now national organisations and not local authority organisations.
This is, I believe, why forces in England are VAT-exempt as their tax status is different, being the same as the old arrangement in Scotland.
The Scottish entities and government can hardly profess not to have been aware of this well before commencement and should have taken this into account when calculating their budgets and projected “savings”.
Newport on Tay