Speaking in the Seanad on Thursday, Labour Senator Mark Wall called on Government to immediately cut the VAT rate on energy bills and fuel to assist all those who are facing rising costs this winter. Senator Wall stated
“I’m sure like many people in the house today, my own office and phone is inundated with calls form people who are facing a cold winter unless Government do more about it.
My Colleague Brendan Howlin raised this matter with the Taosieach in the lower house yesterday. The discussion yesterday was on the recent European Council meeting on 21 and 22 October. The Council did mandate energy ministers to convene an extraordinary meeting to follow up on the Council conclusions, and those ministers agreed that short-term measures have to be taken as a matter of urgency to shield vulnerable customers from enormous price hikes. The Commission has issued a clear policy framework that allows member states to take action, including temporary tax breaks.
Of course, this surge in energy costs is an unexpected windfall for the coffers of government. The State charges 13.5% VAT on top of the bloated price of energy. In fact, as Deputy Howlin pointed out yesterday, not only does it charge 13.5% on gas and electricity, it also charges 13.5% on the carbon tax and the PSO levy.
The EU energy taxation directive and the VAT directive give flexibility to member states to exempt or apply a reduced rate of VAT on electricity, natural gas, coal, and solid fuel used in households. Given the extraordinary rise in energy costs, The Government must act to ensure all households can battle these costs this winter, they have the green light to do so, I hope the Minister can help all those worried about heating their homes this winter.
Following raising the matter in the Seanad, Senator Wall stated “ We need to ensure that energy prices do not mean hardship for families this winter. The Government can reduce this VAT rate, it must be done”
For more contact Mark on 0833341488
About Mark www.labour.ie/markwall