Mary votes for VAT on fuel to be reversed
Labour MP for Wakefield Mary Creagh voted to reverse the government’s VAT rise on petrol and diesel in the House of Commons on 16 March. But Labour’s motion calling for immediate relief for motorists was defeated by Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs who joined forces to vote against it.
The hike in VAT to 20 per cent in January has added nearly 3p to the price of a litre of petrol – or £1.35 to the cost of filling up a 50 litre tank – but could be reversed using an extra £800m from the bank levy.
Mary said: “I’ve consistently opposed the Conservative-led government’s VAT rise which has hit hard pressed families in Wakefield and helped to push up petrol prices to their current record levels. People understand why world oil prices around the world are going up, but the Chancellor George Osborne has made things worse by putting up VAT.
“I’m disappointed that Conservative MPs have missed an opportunity to put right part of their mistake on the VAT rise. The Tories voted against using extra money from the bank levy to give some immediate relief to hard-pressed motorists in West Yorkshire.
“The independent House of Commons Library says the Treasury will get an estimated extra £53m from drivers in Yorkshire from the Tory VAT rise. Extra funds raised from the bank levy should be used to give that money back to people in Wakefield and across Yorkshire.
“I also think that in the Budget later this month George Osborne should look again at the annual fuel duty rise due in April. The last Labour government regularly postponed planned duty increases when world oil prices were on the up - as they are now.”
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls MP added:
“George Osborne should act now to help families in Wakefield who are feeling the impact of his VAT rise. He also needs to come up with a plan to get our stalled economy moving again and get more people into work making their contribution and paying taxes. That's the best way to get the deficit down and ease the pressure on families facing the squeeze.” Sign up to support Labour's campaign at