The Workers’ Party have called on the government to reduce the VAT rate on domestic fuel and energy at least in line with the cut given to the hotel and catering industry.
Cork Workers Party Councillor Ted Tynan said that hundreds of thousands of householders are struggling to pay their gas, electricity and other fuel bills and many are being cut off. He said that this hardship people are going through is greater than that of the hospitality industry and it was unacceptable that Irish customers are expected to pay 13.5% VAT on energy while their counterparts across the European Union pay, on average, less than half of this.
“VAT, or Value Added Tax, was introduced originally as a tax on luxuries. Household light and heating are far from luxuries and we have had in the past winter at least one case of a person dying of the cold because they could not afford to pay their electricity bill. In winter, and often in other times of the year, there are people who have to make a choice between keeping warm or having something to eat. If VAT can be reduced at the behest of the powerful hotel, bar and catering industry lobby, then it must be reduced for those people who do not have such a voice. I am appealing to this government to cut the VAT rate on domestic fuel and energy, at very least in line with the hospitality industry cut”, said Cllr. Tynan.
Issued 1st July 2011