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Carmichael pushes for VAT halt on electricity bills

Alistair Carmichael MP

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called on the UK chancellor to consider temporarily suspending VAT charges for domestic electricity bills.

The Government has already announced VAT measures for businesses and a cross-party group of MPs, led by Far North MP, Jamie Stone, has now written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak to request further support for personal energy bills in light of the increase in working from home and self-isolation efforts.

Mr Carmichael said: “The challenges the Northern Isles face with fuel poverty are still more sharply felt in the current crisis. People are following government advice and spending more time at home. This naturally means using more electricity than they would normally.

“If we are expecting people to work from home then we cannot only give VAT relief on electricity to businesses. Passing another expense on to workers is counterproductive. This is still more important for the self-employed and small business owners, who often operate out of their homes.

“A short-term moratorium on VAT for electricity bills, even if targeted in some way, would be an easy win. It would ensure that those affected by the double whammy of fuel poverty and increased household costs from coronavirus are given some respite.”

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