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Cost of living crisis: Portsmouth MP launches local campaign for urgent VAT cut on energy bills to protect working families  

Stephen Morgan MP has launched a campaign today calling on the government to immediately remove VAT from domestic energy bills to help protect working people, as the cost-of-living crisis deepens across Portsmouth and the country.

Labour say a VAT cut on domestic energy bills – which would change the charge from 5% to zero – could have come into place as early 1st November. The tax break would be designed to support struggling families through the winter months and would be automatically deducted from their bills.

The cut would be funded for by the higher-than-expected VAT receipts accrued since the start of the financial year.

It comes as energy bills continue to soar, prices for everyday items are still rising steeply and national insurance and council tax hikes are set to impact working people in the months ahead.

The Portsmouth MP has underlined that over 10,000 working age families in his constituency of Portsmouth South – nearly half of which with children – will be affected by the government’s cut to Universal Credit, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

According to analysis from Citizens Advice, 10 per cent of families in the UK – equivalent to 3.2 million households – could be facing a financial crisis this winter.

National polling by the charity has also shown that one in five people have already cut back on their food shop (19%), or used less heating (20%) to save money, demonstrating how recent changes have left many households in a vulnerable position.

Labour has said the VAT cut would offer a helping hand when people need it most, and alongside not cancelling the Universal Credit uplift, and not hitting working people and businesses with a new jobs tax, this VAT reduction is part of the party’s plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, commented:

“This government is lurching from one crisis to the next, leaving Portsmouth families by the wayside and offering little support to help them get through this winter as everyone feels the pinch.

“Energy bills, inflation and taxes on the lowest earners are all up, but support for working families is far below what is required to keep them secure this winter.

“That’s why I’m launching this local campaign, calling on the government to urgently cut VAT on energy bills to protect working families in Portsmouth, which Labour has been calling for some time now.

“I will continue to hold Ministers to account to provide those most at risk this winter with the help they need, as Ministers continue to struggle with getting to grips with the cost-of-living crisis.”

Anyone can sign up to support this campaign and Stephen’s call on Government to scrap VAT on energy bills. To do so, visit: https://www.stephenmorgan.org.uk/sign-up-scrapping-vat-on-energy-bills/