The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservatives as not having “any sense or any soul” for inaction on the cost of living crisis as families face a near £1,300 bombshell from inflation and tax hikes.
Today’s ONS data reveals that a typical household now spends £5,780 a year on food, drink and clothing - £425 more than a year ago. Meanwhile record petrol and diesel prices mean that a typical family re-filling its car once a month pays an additional £310 a year.
The hit to families from soaring food and fuel prices is being practically doubled by an additional £640 in extra National Insurance, Income Tax and VAT this year. The rise in costs means households are being left with a near £1,300 blackhole due to this Government’s failure to act.
The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to implement an emergency budget that would cut VAT from 20% to 17.15% and scrap the National Insurance tax hike which would save families a combined £660.
When the last emergency VAT cut was introduced in December 2008, inflation fell from 4.1% to 3.1% within one month. The ONS also found that the cut to VAT in the hospitality sector in 2020 led to a fall in consumer inflation.
The party is also calling for a rural fuel duty cut of 10p a litre, doubling the current Rural Fuel Duty Relief scheme and expanding it to more areas.
Commenting Christine Jardine MP, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson said:
"Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives are standing by while millions of people suffer from eye-watering levels of inflation. How do they think ordinary families are going to find this extra money?
“Drivers in rural communities are bearing the brunt of devastating fuel price hikes, but the Conservatives are failing to lift a finger to help.
"This Government has hiked taxes at every chance, refusing to slash them to help with the cost of living emergency. Even when we know slashing VAT is a sure-fire way to help families while keeping inflation under control.
"The Chancellor, his Prime Minister and his colleagues continue to fail the British people when they need support, if they had any sense or any soul they would implement an emergency budget to cut taxes.”