Cut VAT says Bath MP

Bath’s MP, Wera Hobhouse has demanded an emergency cut to VAT to protect local families from soaring bills and the Conservatives’ worsening cost of living crisis.

She is calling for the standard rate of VAT to be reduced from 20% to 17.5% for one year, a move that would save households in Bath an average of around £600 each. This would mean putting around £17,520,000 back in the pockets of 29,200 families in Bath. 

The plans were set out at the Liberal Democrats’ Spring Conference this weekend and have been backed by Bath MP, Wera Hobhouse.

It comes amid warnings that the war in Ukraine will worsen the cost of living pressures facing households, with energy, food and fuel bills all expected to rise. Inflation is also forecast to reach 8% in April, its highest level in decades.

The Lib Dem plans would support the economy by boosting spending at local high streets. The proposals would also be expected to keep inflation down by making the prices of everyday items lower than they would have been.

The emergency change to VAT could be introduced quickly and easily by the Chancellor for one year. Wera Hobhouse MP said he should use the Spring Statement coming up on March 23 to bring forward the change as well as scrapping the Conservatives’ National Insurance tax hike, to bring much-needed respite to local families.

Bath MP, Wera Hobhouse said:

“The Conservative cost of living crisis is hitting families hard and it is about to get worse. People across our community are worried about how to make ends meet as bills go through the roof.

“An emergency cut to VAT would offer a massive boost to people in Bath feeling the pinch by putting £17,520,000 back into their pockets. It would also support our treasured shops, cafes and restaurants by boosting spending on the high street.

“This is crunch time for the Chancellor and the Conservatives. Will they act or just inflict more financial pain on families by clobbering them with another unfair tax hike?”