Red Wall constituencies back calls to see VAT scrapped on energy bills

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A poll conducted by YouGov, on behalf of Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), found that of 1600 residents in 18 Red Wall constituencies 93% supported the idea of scrapping VAT on energy bills

Two-thirds believed that “heating your home was more of a necessity than a luxury” and some have started to ‘ration’ their energy use.

When asked ‘how often have you avoided heating your home as much as you would have liked specifically because of the associated costs?’- 20% replied “every day”; 14% said “at least 3 or 4 times” and a further 20% said “at least once or twice”.

Commenting on the results, Mike Foster CEO of Energy and Utilities Alliance said:

“These detailed poll findings, in key political battleground seats, suggest that the Government has a major problem on its hands. Overwhelmingly, people want to see VAT scrapped on energy bills, something that Boris Johnson wanted as far back as 2016, but the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has blocked. Red Wall voters have sent a very clear signal in this poll of what they want.

Heating a home is a necessity

“Heating a home is viewed as a necessity, yet consumers are consciously not doing so as a means to keep bills down. This should also ring alarm bells for Ministers. The least well off are being hit the hardest as they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on energy bills, compared to those who are better off. This should justify any action the Government takes.

“Working from home has also led to increases in domestic energy bills, something the Government should acknowledge and again action such as scrapping VAT can be justified as a COVID related measure.

“In the longer term, to meet its Net Zero ambitions, the Government must focus on the impact upon the consumer. Minimising costs and disruption whilst giving consumers choice, will be key to whether it succeeds or fails. The sooner it indicates that gas networks will be switched to hydrogen, breaking away from the global fossil fuel markets that are behind the energy crisis, the better.”

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