Vulcan hit by VAT tax bombshell

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THE last surviving fully working former RAF Finningley Vulcan bomber is facing a new threat because of tax rules.

The aircraft, XH558, which was based at Finningley in the 1960s, has passed all its technical tests which would allow it to fly for a planned summer season of air shows.

But the operators, Vulcan to the Sky Trust, have hit a problem as changes to VAT regulations mean they now need £350,000 by the end of May.

They are selling space on a plaque on the bomb bay doors which will allow people to pay to have their names etched onto it to help raise the cash.

Vulcan to the Sky Trust chief executive Dr Robert Pleming said: “Due to factors beyond our control, we risk running out of money ahead of the air show season.

“One significant reason is that the VAT regulations applying to large non-commercial aircraft like the Vulcan were changed with very little warning at the beginning of January. In practice, this means the sudden imposition of 20 per cent VAT on all the parts and services for the maintenance of XH558, which up until then were zero-rated.

“On top of this new burden, the fuel budget is now nearly double that originally planned.”