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ref date:28 Jan 2000 (ECON)
Skye bridge tolls to rise again

The government in London, much criticised for its continued charging of tolls to use the Forth Road bridge connecting Edinburgh with Fife, and charging ridiculous fees to cross the Skye bridge are set to increase fees again.

The European court finds that if they (London) insisted on collecting tolls, these are a service and as such are liable to the 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT). As London never did this, and as London pockets all the cash from these bridges, they are now in a quandry.

SNP Shadow Transport Minister Kenny Macaskill said: "The tolls must go. Each year, the Scottish motorist pays around 16m in tolls for bridges which have already been paid for. These bridges are running in profit and it's the Scottish motorist who is bankrolling the profits. Now we may be expected to bankroll Westminster with VAT receipts."VAT would bypass Scotland and go straight to the UK Treasury without a penny's worth of benefit to Scotland. There must be no question of Scotland footing the bill for back VAT."

Nice one London......