Stephen Timms, Member of Parliament for East Ham, yesterday called on the Chancellor George Osborne to reverse the government’s VAT rise on fuel. 

The hike in VAT to 20 per cent in January has added nearly 3p to the price of a litre of petrol and will raise £700m for the Treasury, according to figures from the independent House of Commons Library. 

The Labour Party says the VAT rise should be reversed immediately on petrol using the £800m extra the government is now getting from the bank levy, compared to what it was expecting in the last Budget.  

Speaking after an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons, Mr Timms said: 

“I’ve consistently opposed the Conservative-led government’s VAT rise which has hit families East Ham and helped to push up petrol prices to their current record levels. 

“It’s time the Chancellor George Osborne took immediate action on fuel prices to ease the pressure on families who are already facing a tough year and their incomes squeezed. He should immediately reverse the VAT rise on fuel, which has added nearly 3p to the price of a litre of petrol, using the extra £800m the Treasury will be getting from the bank levy. 

“When I was a Minister in the Treasury, we aimed to postpone duty increases when world oil prices were on the up - as they are now.  George Osborne should do likewise in the Budget.  So far, he has not introduces his much promised 'fuel duty stabiliser' - all the signs are that this will be yet another broken promise from this government.”

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls MP added: “I hope people across East Ham will back our campaign and send a message to the Chancellor George Osborne that he needs to act immediately to reverse the VAT rise on fuel. It’s the wrong tax at the wrong time and is hitting families and businesses hard.”

AuthorStephen Timms