Two weeks ago, I signed a letter along with twenty other Conservative MPs asking the Chancellor to cut VAT and the Environmental Levy from domestic fuel bills. We also asked the Prime Minister to investigate increasing domestic fuel production to combat the threat of fuel poverty. We await replies on both counts. A week later the Labour Party put in an opposition day motion calling for the VAT to be cut on domestic fuel for one year only.
There are two things here that the Labour Party did not explain to the public in that firstly the VAT on fuel is 5% and would save the average family in Ashfield just £1 a week for a year. Secondly Governments have never voted with the opposition on an opposition day debates. In other words, the Labour Party were just playing politics and the reason I am writing about this is because in the Chad last week a Mr Holland who was described as an ‘Ashfield Resident’ wrote his own column suggesting I was against cheaper fuel bills. Absolute nonsense! I suspect that the Chad and people reading the column were not aware that Mr Holland is indeed a Labour Party member and works in the office of Ed Miliband, the very same Ed Miliband who is the Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero who led the opposition day debate. People reading this column understand that I am a Conservative MP which means I have a vested interest in my party and my own beliefs. Therefore, if someone else who is involved in politics at the highest level is also writing a column then I think it is only fair they declare an interest. I have emailed the Chad to make them aware of the situation and they are quite rightly looking into it.
On the subject of fuel poverty some of you may have read an article I wrote for the Mail on Sunday a few weeks ago. In the article I repeated the need to cut VAT and the Environmental Levies on our domestic fuel bills, but not just a paltry one year cut on VAT – lets get rid of them all for good. No one should have to worry about keeping their homes warm and its all well and good us MPs earning over £80,000 telling poorer people that they must pay more to heat their homes, I say ‘No’ if we are serious about levelling up then we must get the basics right and keeping warm is the most important thing we need to survive.
I was paid £1,000 by the Mail on Sunday for the article which I have donated to the foodbank in Sutton run by the Academy Trust College (Sutton Centre). We are working together on a fuel poverty project with a local home energy expert where we will provide early intervention support for people who may fall into fuel poverty. There are people out there who need help and I will always look for local practical solutions rather than playing politics.