Huppert acts to end unfair VAT system for sixth form colleges
MP Julian Huppert has called on Education Secretary, Michael Gove to stop the unfair treatment of Cambridge’s sixth form colleges through the VAT system.
Unlike schools and the new academies with sixth forms, Long Road and Hill’s Road Sixth Form colleges are unable to claim back VAT on goods and services leaving them out of pocket by hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.
Julian has joined other MPs with sixth form colleges in their constituencies to send a joint letter to Mr Gove asking him to change the rules.
“It is completely unfair to treat Cambridge’s sixth form colleges differently from schools and academies which offer sixth form education,” said Julian who took the issue to the Treasury Minister earlier this year. “Our city is fortunate in having two excellent sixth form colleges but they are being discriminated against through this system.
“I don’t want to see our colleges forced to drop courses or cut back on extra-curricular activities which bring huge benefits to their students because the government won’t address this issue.”
Historically, the government has defended its decision to charge sixth form colleges VAT because it maintained it was taken into account as part of their funding allocation. But the new 16-19 funding formula means all schools and colleges offering education to this age group are funded in the same way.
“There is no excuse for the government to continue penalising sixth form colleges in this way,” added Julian. “It is time that it was treated in the same way as schools and academies so that it can put this money into courses and activities that will benefit its students rather than the treasury.”