George Osbourne boosts UK air ambulances


AgustaWestland AW189

Air ambulance operators in England will receive funding gathered from fines paid banks involved in the Libor scandal.

In today’s Autumn Statement 2014, George Osborne, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Thanks to the brilliant campaigns run by my Honourable Friends for Filton, Bristol North West, and others, we will use Libor money for new helicopters for the Great Western Air Ambulance, and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance too.”

He added: “And I will go further and refund VAT for our search and rescue, and air ambulance organisations across the whole UK.”

Earlier this year, air ambulance were relieved from having to pay VAT on fuel, using money from the Libor fine fund.

Clive Dickin, national director of the Association of Air Ambulances, said: “We welcome the announcement that the Libor fine fund is supporting air ambulance charities across the UK such as London’s Air Ambulance and that the VAT rebate on aviation fuel which affects several other air ambulance charities such as Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance and the Great North Air Ambulance will save many hundreds of thousands of pounds that can now be spent on saving lives.”

Last year, Bristow Helicopters won a £1.6 billion contract from the British government to provide nationwide civilian search and rescue services, using AgustaWestland and Sikorksy Helicopters financed by Milestone Leasing.