Less than 1 in 5 MPs support Government EV charging VAT policy

Less than one in five MPs support the Government’s electric car charging VAT policy, according to the results of polling carried out by YouGov on behalf of the FairCharge campaign.

The polling of Members of Parliament revealed that less than a fifth (18 per cent) of MPs and just over a quarter (27 per cent) of Conservative MPs indicated they support the Government’s taxation policy on electric vehicle (EV) charging.

VAT is charged at a 20% rate for public EV charging but is charged at a 5% rate for charging at home, in line with other domestic energy consumption. Almost four-in-10 drivers (38%) say they can’t charge at home – because they only have on-street parking or a parking space where they are unable to use a charger, or because they rent their home and a charge point isn’t installed.

The polling of MPs shows that in total more than three in five (62 per cent) believed that the VAT rate for both public and private charging should be 5%. Only five per cent of MPs polled wanted to see the VAT for home charging raised to 20%, with eighteen per cent content with the status quo differential. Strikingly, only twenty-seven per cent of Conservative MPs supported the status quo with exactly half backing FairCharge’s call for the tax to be equalised at a 5% rate.

The revelations put further pressure on the Government to change tack and abolish the VAT differential, which FairCharge claims is unfair on those without off-street parking and will disincentivise people from taking up EVs. A recent Government response to a parliamentary question by Exchequer Secretary Helen Whately stated that “the Government has no current plans to review the current rate of VAT applied to EV charging.”

A recent analysis conducted by the FairCharge campaign with Zap-Map showed that on average EV drivers were paying £115 more in tax a year if they did not have access to off-street parking. This was in addition to the fact that those with off-street parking can make savings from low-cost deals by charging at off-peak times overnight, or getting electricity from solar panels. The same analysis put the cost of equalising the VAT regimes to HMRC currently at only £18.4 million.

Quentin Willson, FairCharge founder, commented: “With our FairCharge campaign it is terrific to be able to release this polling showing that so many MPs – and strikingly so many Conservative MPs – can appreciate what is obvious: the Government’s current VAT treatment of public charging is unfair and untenable. This reflects what I have heard in meetings held with parliamentarians from across the political spectrum.”

“The Chancellor should see it really is in his interest to take note of the fact that his MPs can see what the public can see – that we need an urgent change in taxation policy for EV charging as a basic point of fairness, and in order to turbocharge the absolutely essential transition to electric vehicles.”

Quentin, who is a member of the Transport + Energy editorial board, spoke exclusively to the brand about the launch of the FairCharge campaign earlier this year.

Image: Shutterstock

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