The Prime Minister has suggested that he will not cut VAT on energy bills because it would help “a lot of people who perhaps don’t need the support” with rising living costs. This comes as Mr Johnson faces increasing pressure to fix the energy crisis as fears grow over a £2,000 energy bill for residential homes in April when the price cap is set to rise. An expert has suggested that there is a major split between the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak after Mr Sunak previously refused to scrap the 5 percent VAT on energy bills in his last budget.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mike Foster, the CEO of Energy and Utilities Alliance, an independent trade association, said that the pressure is on for Mr Johnson to do something about the energy crisis.
He said: “The problem that he’s got is clearly his Chancellor, Rishi Sunak seemingly does not want to do anything about it.
“Ahead of the Brexit referendum, Boris Johnson campaigned to get rid of all VAT on energy costs. That was one of the centrepieces of the Brexit campaign.
“That has got tremendous appeal, but at the last budget, where Rishi Sunak could have implemented that policy with an 80 seat majority, where it would have been very easy to do it, he chose not to.”
In a poll conducted by the EUA, it was found that the cost-of-living crisis is hitting Red Wall voters hard, with an astonishing 79 percent suggesting the Government has alienated working families.
EUA’s analysis of the polling found that 17 of the 18 seats would switch back to Labour if there were to be an election now.
“The problem that the PM got is that his own Chancellor doesn’t agree with him.
“That’s a problem not only for the PM, it’s also for a problem for the 17 of the 18 Members of Parliament from the seats we polled who’d probably be out of a job if nothing is done about the looming energy costs.”
READ MORE: Boris Johnson ‘not ruling out’ plans to alleviate soaring energy bills
And Mr Foster says the Government is now also risking turning its back on Brexiteers.
He added: “Rishi Sunak’s department, the Treasury, also briefed that they didn’t scrap the 5 percent tax because a cut of VAT on energy bills would give most benefits to the wealthiest, which is nonsense.
“It is exactly the opposite of what Boris Johnson was during the Brexit referendum. During the campaign, it’s on record that him and Michael Gove argued, quite rightly, that energy bills take up a disproportionate amount of an ordinary families’ income because people want to live in a warm and comfortable home.”
“There is a disproportionate impact on the least well off for having a warm home, compared to what a millionaire may be spending on their bills.
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