OTLEY'S MP is calling on the government to cut VAT on domestic energy bills to help ease the burden of spiralling costs.

Alex Sobel spoke out, along with other Labour MPs, amid warnings of massive increases in bills from April.

Mr Sobel, who represents Leeds North West, said the cut was something the government could implement immediately.

He said he had received a large amount of correspondence from constituents concerned with the rising cost of energy.

"In fact back in September last year I stated that my concerns primarily lie with increased energy costs adding additional pressure to many of my constituents who are already having their finances stretched to the limit, with the pending £20 cut to Universal Credit at the end of the month as well as facing an increase in National Insurance payments," he said. "That universal credit cut has now taken place and the Government have still not addressed the issue of energy costs for many of my constituents.”

He stressed:“The Labour Party has also laid out our plan to help combat these huge increases to energy costs. It must not be forgotten that we have arrived here because the government over the last decade have relied too heavily on importing energy, whereas the focus should have been on increasing our own energy supplies with more focus on decarbonisation of energy and Government investment in non-gas low carbon domestic heating."

Labour said it would bring in fully-funded measures now to reduce the expected price rise in April – saving most households around £200 or more, with targeted extra support to squeezed middle, pensioners and the lowest earners, allowing them to receive up to £600 off bills and preventing all of the increase in energy bills currently expected.

They would pay for this with a one-off windfall tax on North Sea Oil and Gas producers who have profited from price rises.

Highlighting how crucial it is to keep energy bills lower in future, Labour has said it would:

•Reduce Britain’s reliance on imported gas by accelerating home-grown renewables and new nuclear

•Make sure 19 million homes are warm and well-insulated, saving households an average of £400 a year on bills

•Regulate the market better, with a pledge to never again let energy companies play fast and loose with the rules

Mr Sobel, who is chair of the all-party parliamentary group on net zero, said the party's action plan looked at building an expansive and ambitious covid-19 green recovery package that focuses on green job creation and workforce retooling, especially in disadvantaged areas.

"This includes looking at the growth of solar installers and the reintroduction of the feed-in tariff, (a government programme designed to promote the uptake of renewable and low-carbon electricity generation technologies).

"Decarbonisation through heat pumps, electric heating or hydrogen would also present opportunities for SMEs as installers. All those things present a huge opportunity to create new SMEs and new jobs within them, but they need the business support, investment, incentives and targets, and an ecosystem that creates the opportunity for net zero for SMEs and business at large.”

Mr Sobel said he agreed with Ed Milband , Shadow Climate change and Net Zero secretary, who argued: “The Government failed to regulate the market, failed to protect our gas storage, failed to accelerate the renewable and nuclear transition, and failed to insulate homes.”

Mr Sobel added: “Once again Labour and many Conservative MPs are calling on the Government to take immediate action and ease the burden of not only people of low incomes but many on middle incomes who are also feeling the squeeze, not only due to energy costs, but increases in fuel and food costs and facing higher taxation in April.”

Downing Street has said that removing VAT from domestic fuel bills would not necessarily cut costs for households who are facing major hikes in their energy bills from April.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said that the Government will consider any proposals, but warned that the reasons for the rise in energy prices is global.

The promise to cut VAT from domestic fuel bills had been made during the 2016 Brexit campaign by Vote Leave, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a member of.

VAT on energy bills is already only set at 5 per cent – much lower than the tax on most other goods and services.

“Obviously we will consider any policy proposals but going further would not guarantee prices fall, given that price rises are driven by a number of factors which we are seeing played out worldwide,” a spokesperson said last week.

This week the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was talking to Chancellor Rishi Sunak about how the government could help people with soaring energy prices.

He said: "I understand the pressures people are facing on household finances. I understand how difficult it is and we are certainly looking at what we can do."