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VAT: Domestic Fuel

Volume 717: debated on Tuesday 28 June 2022

1. What recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) stakeholders on the potential merits of zero-rating VAT on domestic fuel. (900757)

The hon. Member’s question is about the Government’s support for those who are struggling with the cost of living. The Government recently announced an additional £15 billion-worth of additional support, targeted particularly on those with the greatest need. Government support for the cost of living now totals £37 billion this year.

VAT on domestic fuel continues to be levied on rising fuel bills while one in three Scots households live in fuel poverty. With 8% of the UK population, Scotland has 96% of the UK’s crude oil reserves, 63% of the UK’s natural gas reserves, 90% of the UK’s hydropower and 25% of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal resources. Scotland’s vast energy potential far exceeds the needs of our people yet we receive no revenue. Can the Minister tell me the true value of Scotland’s energy to the UK Treasury, and set out how the Government will service their massive debts when they can no longer fleece Scotland of its energy resources following a vote for independence in 2023?

We of course recognise Scotland’s contribution to energy across the country and the fantastic industry that we have in Scotland, but the hon. Member will know that Scotland has a record sum this year in terms of money that comes through the Treasury, through the Budget and through the Barnett formula.

The original question was about heating fuel, and I wonder if the Minister could let us know the proportion of people in London who use heating oil compared with those out in rural areas such as Lincolnshire or even in Scotland?

My hon. Friend is right: more people use heating oil in rural areas, and the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are looking at energy across the board to ensure that all people are protected.