Today started off with prominent Brexiters Boris Johnson and Michael Gove pledging that a vote to leave the EU would result in the VAT on energy bills being scrapped — only to be contradicted by one of their own colleagues.
Chris Grayling downgraded their “promise”, saying that cutting VAT on fuel, enforced by the EU, was just “one of the options”:
Grayling; Vote Leave can only set out options for the Government. Cutting VAT on fuel is one of the options.
— Carl Dinnen (@carldinnen) May 31, 2016
That wasn’t really the message Johnson and Gove were sending in an article they penned for The Sun:
“Fuel bills will be lower for everyone.”
This confusion comes as the Remain camp has published a list of 20 commitments made by the Out campaign, which their rivals claim are unfunded to the tune of £111bn.
The problems don’t end there. Johnson’s and Gove’s enthusiasm for their fuel pledge doesn’t explain why other Brexiters – Iain Duncan Smith, Liam Fox, John Whittingdale and Norman Lamont – were all for the tax when it was introduced in 1994 and a year later tried to double it from 8% to 17.5%.
The misinformation in this referendum debate continues to pile up.