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The Isle of Man Government could lend its support to growing efforts across these Isles to protect consumers from surging energy costs this winter by calling on the United Kingdom Government to suspend the value-added tax on fuel bills, according to the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance.

“Some Manx households are likely to struggle this coming winter with the cost of heating. Because VAT is linked to prices, an increase in the wholesale and retail cost of gas means that the tax on home heating will increase. Our governments should not receive a financial windfall from an increase in wholesale gas prices,” said Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Elsewhere in these Isles, industrial groups and trade unions have already called on the United Kingdom Government to lower taxes on fuel costs by making adjustments to the VAT.

Bloomberg has reported that Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer of the not-for-profit industry trade group Energy & Utilities Alliance, called on the UK Government to take action: “Scrapping VAT on energy, as a temporary measure, will immediately reduce the bills of hard-pressed households. Consumers are genuinely worried about paying so much more to keep warm. The choice of ‘heating or eating’ is one that no one should have to make.”

Andy Prendergast, national secretary of GMB Union, which has over 500,000 members in the UK, was also reported as saying, “The decision to tax users ignores the necessity of gas for most homes, or its importance to industry. At a time of rocketing gas prices, the last thing either the public or business need is extra taxes on what is an essential utility.”

While the VAT in the Isle of Man is mostly linked to the VAT of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man Government has a key role to play in representing the views of the people of the Isle of Man to the British Government.

19 October Update: Corrected a typographical error in the final paragraph to add the word “Government” in the following phrase: “…the Isle of Man Government has a key role to play…”