Tory MP makes Brexit swipe as Labour propose VAT cut
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Britons are charged with a five percent levy on energy bills, a policy introduced by the EU back in the Nineties. The Prime Minister promised that the UK could get rid of that policy after Brexit, back when he was running the referendum campaign. Back in 2016, Mr Johnson wrote in The Sun with Michael Gove: “Fuel bills will be lower for everyone. In 1993, VAT on household energy bills was imposed.
“This makes gas and electricity much more expensive… When we Vote Leave, we will be able to scrap this unfair and damaging tax.”
But now, at a time when energy bills are soaring, Mr Johnson has rejected the calls for this measure.
Mike Foster, head of Energy Utilities Alliance, told Express.co.uk: “It is a clear betrayal of Brexit voters, who were promised that VAT on energy bills would be scrapped.
“If the Prime Minister doesn’t stay true to his word, they would be right to feel they have been lied to.
“Whether he should have made that promise or not, without understanding the implications is irrelevant, he made that promise and he needs to deliver on it.”
This is despite a national energy crisis, with the energy price cap expected to rise by 50 percent to £2,000 in April.
This is the maximum tariff an energy company can charge consumers.
And millions of Britons were already hit with a previous price cap rise back in October.
Mr Foster told Express.co.uk that many of those impacted are Red Wall voters.
These are key seats that Mr Johnson was able to snatch from Labour in the 2019 election which consists largely of Brexiteers.
Tory MPs in ‘Red Wall’ seats have told Mr Johnson to act on the cost-of-living crisis or “end up out of power”.
But the Prime Minister appears to have betrayed Brexit voters and pushed aside calls from 20 Tory MPs to scrap the EU VAT policy.
He said in a televised Downing Street press conference that the measure was a “blunt instrument”.
Express.co.uk understands that Chancellor Rishi Sunak could embarrass his boss by U-turning on the decision.
It comes as the Chancellor has had to step in to try and ease the crisis while the Prime Minister’s popularity plummets.
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Mr Sunak posted Twitter: ”I’ve been on a visit all day today continuing work on our #PlanForJobs as well as meeting MPs to discuss the energy situation.”
Meanwhile, calls for Mr Johnson to resign have been coming in thick and fast.
Conservative MP William Wragg is chair of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee and a vice-chair of the backbench
Conservative 1922 Committee executive.
He has demanded that Mr Johnson steps down after a series of scandals.
This includes a work party that broke Covid rules which Mr Johnson has admitted he attended.
Mr Wragg said: “I’m particularly concerned, as a Conservative MP with interests of the country, my constituency and the Conservative party, that a series of unforced errors on matters of integrity are deeply damaging to the perception of my colleagues and the party.
“And that is deeply unfair to them.
“As colleagues are saying to one another and off the record, I sadly think that the prime minister’s position is untenable.”
“I don’t believe it should be left to the findings of a civil servant to determine the future of the prime minister, and indeed who governs this country.”
A union representing 100,000 health workers have also called for Mr Johnson to step down.
Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said: “Health workers have toiled long and sacrificed much during the last two years of the pandemic.
“They have taken huge personal risks caring for the public and day-after-day observed all the standing rules on Covid.
“The Prime Minister has set these rules and yet he has flagrantly broken them. His position in office is now untenable.”
A YouGov poll revealed that 56 percent of people believe Mr Johnson should resign.
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