Energy Minister dismisses VAT cut on energy bills as ‘untargeted’ measure

Greg Hands said there are schemes already in place to protect vulnerable and elderly people

Energy Minister has rejected calls for a VAT cut on energy bills as he believes that would be an untargeted measure to protect vulnerable energy customers.

Answering a question why the government rejects calls to cut VAT on bills as relief to people who are struggling to pay their bills this winter, Mr Hands said: “I share the concern for vulnerable people who face potential rises in energy prices.

“VAT is a matter for the Treasury but of course a VAT cut would be very untargeted towards vulnerable people. That is why we have schemes in place, such as the warm house discount, winter fuel payments and cold weather payments to help vulnerable and elderly people. The government have got the policy right.”

Earlier this week, Sir Edward Leigh who is MP for Gainsborough, Lincolnshire said people prefer to keep their heating bills down rather than to stop global warming.

Mr Hands also answered a question on energy security and gas imports: “We will always prefer British gas to foreign imports. 50% of our current gas consumption comes from the UK continental shelf and an additional 30% from Norway.

“We were delighted earlier this year to agree the North Sea Sector Transition Deal, which I think will offer a fantastic future for constituents and those right across North East Scotland.”

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