Consumer campaigning charity Which? has expressed disappointment at chancellor George Osborne’s rejection of calls for energy VAT from higher fuel prices to be handed back.
Along with other groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, Which? this week sent a letter to Mr Osborne calling on him to reinvest proceeds from the levy into energy-efficiency measures for struggling householders. However, no such plan was included in yesterday’s Autumn Statement.
However, energy-intensive businesses have been given £250m to help them weather the impact of soaring gas and electricity bills. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd warned that many hard-pressed domestic consumers are likely to be unhappy with Mr Osborne’s decision.
“It's disappointing that the government has not taken this opportunity to support hard-pressed consumers who are facing soaring energy bills this winter,” he observed. “Many people who are struggling in fuel poverty will be angry that the government is not giving domestic customers similar support.”
Last week, Trades Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber claimed many households across the UK could be facing a difficult winter as a result of energy price hikes.