The Government are committed to supporting the transition to net zero emission vehicles to help the United Kingdom to meet its net zero obligations. That includes committing £2.5 billion since 2020 to support that transition, to fund targeted vehicle incentives and to fund the roll-out of charging infrastructure.
We know that Scotland has many more public electric vehicle chargers per head of population than England; according to the Department for Transport’s January figures, it has 23% more per head and 73% more rapid chargers per head than England. However, we also know that those of us, like myself, who can charge their cars at home pay 5% VAT as part of our domestic energy bill, while those unable to charge at home—those who live in flats and so on—have to pay 20% VAT on often already significantly more expensive chargers. If the Minister agrees that that acts as a disincentive to switching to EVs, will it be fixed in the upcoming Budget?
I hope the hon. Gentleman reflects on the considerable advantages his constituents gain from being in the United Kingdom, because the Scottish Government receive 25% more funding per person than equivalent UK Government spending in other parts of the United Kingdom. On his challenge about the electric vehicle transition, introducing VAT relief for charging points in public places would impose additional pressures on the public finances, to which VAT makes a significant contribution. Indeed, it is expected to raise £157 billion in 2022-23, helping to fund the key public services we all care about. I welcome his support for the UK Government’s work to reach net zero targets, but I ask him, please, to work with the UK Government to help us to achieve this across the United Kingdom.