Protocol Could Prevent NI Benefitting From Energy Price Assistance - DUP

The Protocol could prevent Northern Ireland from benefitting from energy price assistance, the DUP's Sammy Wilson has said.

The East Antrim MP said that speculation that the Government will scrap VAT on domestic energy costs is a stark reminder of the uncertainty facing households in Northern Ireland because of the border in the Irish Sea. Under the terms of the Protocol, Northern Ireland remains aligned to EU VAT rules for goods.

Speaking during a debate on the matter in Westminster and Mr Wilson said: "As fuel costs continue to sky rocket, the removal of VAT on home energy bills would be a small but welcome boost for families and households. However, there is deep uncertainty over whether such a policy could even be extended to Northern Ireland under the Protocol.
News Image
"Currently the EU enforces a minimum VAT rate of 5%. While that is expected to change this year, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to prevent a potential disparity between support provided in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

"When it comes to protecting vulnerable households and protecting standard of living, it is unfathomable that Northern Ireland could be left behind. We are clear that this interference in the UK internal market and in the lives of local consumers is completely unjustifiable and disproportionate.

"Let's be clear – ministers have a duty to protect households on the bread line against rising energy costs. However, it must also ensure the support available extends of all four constituent parts of the United Kingdom. The DUP has been clear that the continued operation of the Protocol is oppressive and unsustainable. The Government must set out clearly and quickly how it intends to deliver on its commitments to Northern Ireland. This includes setting out an ambitious timetable for renegotiations with the EU."

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 July 2005
WWF welcomes all-island renewable energy plans
WWF Northern Ireland has welcomed plans by the British and Irish Government's to secure cost effective, environmentally friendly power sources for the future of Ireland, north and south.
13 June 2005
The 2005 Birthday Honours List for Northern Ireland
The full list of recipients of honours in the 2005 Birthday Honours list for Northern Ireland is as follows: Knighthood: Mr Hugh Orde OBE, Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland - for services to Northern Ireland. CBE: Mr Robert David Stewart Campbell, Belfast - For Political and public service.
08 October 2003
UK Energy Minister launches new initiative in Belfast
A new initiative to encourage the development of renewable energy in Northern Ireland is being launched today in Belfast by UK Energy Minister, Stephen Timms.
20 January 2011
Renewable Energy Gets Powerful Boost
A new association is being formed today aimed at expanding the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind power. The Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group (NIRIG), which represents the collective voices of Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) and RenewableUK in Northern Ireland, was officially launched on Thursday.
06 July 2009
Green Energy Project For Consultation
People in Northern Ireland have until the end of September to make their views known on proposals to increase levels of sustainable energy. The Stormont Minister responsible, Arlene Foster, welcomed the NI Executive's decision to go out to consultation on a key document aimed at achieving a more sustainable energy future for Northern Ireland.