Today's measures outlined by the Government will do little to help the 4.5 million people in the UK that are currently living in fuel poverty. The Government by comparison is profiting handsomely from the 5 per cent VAT they charge on fuel.
Richard Hyslop, Cut the VAT Coalition Coordinator said,
"Today's announcement by the Government does not go far enough in helping to tackle the growing problem of fuel poverty. The number of people living in fuel poverty in this country has doubled since 2004 and the increase in energy prices will only makes matters worse. The Government cannot sit by and let the most vulnerable people in society suffer any more. We know that even before the recent hike in energy bills a staggering 1.25 million pensioner households live in fuel poverty and that 22 per cent of older people living in fuel poverty go without gas or electricity in order to make ends meet. More worrying is the fact that last year 25,000 people over the age of 65 died of cold related illnesses."
"The Government could stop this desperate situation from getting even worse if it cut VAT on all energy efficient home improvements from 17.5 per cent to 5 per cent. This simple cut would enable thousands of families to upgrade their homes to make them more energy efficient and enjoy a warmer winter. The truth is that the current high rate of VAT on building repair work prevents people, particularly those on low-incomes, from maintaining their homes. In many instances, this results in people living in misery because they cannot afford to have basic repairs or central heating installed. How much higher do fuel bills have to rise before the Government will wake up and cut VAT on measures to make our homes warmer?"
30 May 2008