Rishi Sunak needs EU's permission to reduce VAT on home heating oil, Jeffrey Donaldson claims

Sir Jeffrey insisted "this cannot be right," claiming his constituents are being deprived of support because of the Northern Ireland Protocol

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DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told the Commons that if the Chancellor sought to reduce VAT on “home heating oil”, he would need the permission of the European Union.

Sir Jeffrey insisted “this cannot be right”, claiming his constituents are being deprived of support because of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He said: “At this time, households across all of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, are struggling because of rapidly increasing home heating costs.

“In Northern Ireland, we are subject to EU VAT rules. This means that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer sought to reduce VAT on home heating oil, he needs the permission of the European Union and all 27 member states to do such an action. Surely, this cannot be right that my constituents are being deprived of the support they need from Government because of the Protocol.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said Sir Jeffrey was right in “highlighting just another one of the many areas where the Protocol is creating real problems on the ground for people in everyday lives”.

He added: “We must remember the Protocol itself says it will not disrupt the everyday lives of people in their communities. He’s given yet another example where the Protocol itself and the implementation of it is doing exactly that. That has to stop.”

Boris Johnson has promised to ensure the people of Northern Ireland "continue to be protected along with everybody in the UK from the cost of living crisis."

During Prime Minister's Questions, Sir Keir Starmer accused Mr Johnson of protecting energy profits before working people, saying Britain "can't afford another crisis like this", demanding the Prime Minister relaxed planning laws and blocks on onshore wind, and stopping support for policies "that make us so dependent on foreign gas".