A VICTORY in the battle to cut VAT from fuel used by air ambulances is being celebrated by campaigners.

In this week's Budget, Chancellor George Osborne brought about a successful end to a two year campaign by relieving the five per cent VAT paid by air ambulances for fuel.

The campaign was sparked by York man Ken Sharpe who began an online petition in 2012. York Central MP Hugh Bayley then secured a Parliamentary review after putting forward a motion backed by all parties.

Speaking after Wednesday's Budget announcement Mr Bayley said: "I congratulate Ken Sharpe, from York, who raised more than 100,000 signatures on a petition to call on the government to remove VAT from the fuel used by air ambulance charities.

"I got a debate in the Commons and got the Treasury to agree to look into the problem. I kept writing to them after the debate and I am very pleased that have now agreed to help air ambulances with their fuel bills."

Peter Sunderland, chairman of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, said: "This will mean that as a Charity, we will be saving around £7,000 per year.  This money can now be used to help fund the running of both of our life-saving helicopters. It costs £9,990 per day to keep both of the helicopters in the air and helping to save lives, and we are delighted with this extra bit of support from the government.”