STRUGGLING families will have to pay an extra £3.1billion in VAT by April owing to sky-high energy bills, research suggests.

The figure comes as concern grows that millions of households are finding it hard to make ends meet in the cost-of-living crisis.

Labour is calling on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to use this tax windfall to cut VAT on household energy bills.

Research by the House of Commons Library shows the Treasury is set for an extra £3.1billion from the tax by the end of the financial year in April.

It is mainly down to sharply rising domestic gas and electricity costs.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said Labour wanted VAT removed immediately from winter heating bills.

She added: “Right now people are being hit by a cost-of-living crisis which has seen weekly budgets stretched.”

Tory MPs have made similar calls. But a government spokesman said: “There has been no VAT windfall. VAT receipts this year are forecast to be below the pre-Covid level.”

Vulnerable households are being supported with energy costs through initiatives such as the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments, he added.

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