Kelleher raises need for VAT flexibility at EU level to deal with home heating oil price surges

Published on: 10 March 2022

“Greater flexibility must be afforded to national governments to reduce VAT rates on home heating oil by the European Union,” said Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher. Kelleher, an MEP for the Ireland South constituency, was speaking during a debate on fair taxation in the Parliament in Strasbourg.“While taxation is usually a matter of national competence, where each government sets their own rules, the issue of VAT is dealt with as an EU competence where we have agreed rules and rates, with little flexibility, across the whole of the 27 member states.“In the Dáil this week, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin raised the EU’s Energy Directive as a barrier to reducing the cost of heating. I used my opportunity in the European Parliament to directly ask the Commission to intervene.“The Irish government, and indeed the governments of the other 26 Member States, need more flexibility to help ease the burden on hard pressed households who are struggling to pay for home heating oil and other fuels to heat their homes.“Home heating oil has doubled in price in the last year, but incomes haven’t. Families are now making decisions about whether they can afford to fill up their tanks or fill up their fridges.“The EU needs to give Member States flexibility to, at the very least, reduce the VAT on these fuels. It will not completely deal with the wholesale price increases but it will help,” concluded Kelleher.