The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Spring Statement as a "massive missed opportunity" to help families in Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven, Polegate and rural communities.
The party has called for the standard rate of VAT to be reduced from 20% to 17.5% for one year. It comes after the Chancellor's lacklustre Spring Statement failed to adequately protect local families from soaring bills and the Conservatives' worsening cost of living crisis.
The Lib Dem plans would support the economy by boosting spending on local high streets. The proposals would also be expected to keep inflation down by making the prices of everyday items lower than they would have been.
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Lewes, James MacCleary said:
"People across our community were looking to Rishi Sunak today for a helping hand in facing this once in a generation cost of living crisis. Eye-watering price hikes are leaving many in our area struggling to make ends meet. People using trains have been hammered by years of increases in prices. Our rural communities are facing huge bills to heat their homes, as heating oil has been left out of price caps.
"This was crunch time for the Chancellor and the Conservatives, and they haven't stepped up to the mark. It's families in Seaford, Newhaven and beyond who they have clobbered with unfair tax hikes who will pay the price for this massive missed opportunity.
“Rishi Sunak should stop putting his pride over people, scrap his punishing tax hikes, and back Liberal Democrat calls for an emergency cut to VAT. This would put £17,880,000 back into the pockets of 29,800 in our area and support our local shops, cafes and restaurants.”