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Labour pushes for fuel levy to aid struggling domestic users

LABOUR is set to force a debate in Parliament today over the rising cost of living by challenging MPs to back past promises on cutting VAT.

The party plans to put forward a motion in an opposition day debate in the Commons which, if passed, would force MPs to vote on the proposals.

Labour has proposed slashing VAT on energy bills for a year, alongside a windfall tax on the North Sea oil and gas industry, to help support those struggling as energy prices rise.

But the government has so far resisted making moves on VAT, and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has said oil and gas companies are already struggling.

Communities Secretary Michael Gove has claimed to be examining a range of options to help struggling households and businesses to meet rising energy costs. 

But he has fallen short of confirming that the Tories would honour the pledge he and Boris Johnson made during the 2016 EU Referendum campaign to scrap VAT on energy bills.

Yesterday shadow climate change secretary Ed Miliband accused Mr Gove of backpedalling on his promises and said Chancellor Rishi Sunak was missing in action. He said: “Broken promises don’t pay the bills.

“But when push comes to shove, when families and pensioners really need support, they’ve broken that commitment. The Conservatives’ clear opposition to the windfall tax tells you exactly whose side they are on – and it’s not the British people struggling with their energy bills.”

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action has warned that heating costs for the average home could double since last winter.

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