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Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT?


9:10 am - June 23rd 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Yesterday George Osborne claimed that the VAT rise was “unavoidable”.

But last year the Conservatives were attacking the Labour party for the possibility that Labour might raise VAT to 20%.

This is the poster they unveiled.


via @jamesgraham

And then there’s this interview with Cameron around the same time:

Reporter: Are you able to make the voters any sort of promise on VAT? Ar eyou able to rule VAT rises out?

Cameron: Well what we can say is that we’ve set out our plans. Our plans involve cutting wasteful spending and stopping the National Insurance rise. Our plans don’t involve an increase in VAT. We’re saying it should be wasteful government spending that’s cut rather than putting up taxes as the government suggests. And the only party that has had plans to put up VAT has been the Labour party…

Watch (2min 5secs in):

So much for Conservative honesty with the public.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. gastro george

Politicians economical with the truth shock …

I think anybody with any sense could predict a VAT rise under the Tories, probably under New Labour as well. Low hanging fruit – doesn’t affect the treasured income tax rate, nor big business.

Sunny, seriously, while it’s good to see that poster repeated as a reminder, “no plans” never means “not going to do it” it means “we’re hoping to avoid it but…”

A VAT rise was inevitable. I hate that it was so. I hope that the LDs, with their penchant for costing everythign, will go into the next election committed to bringing it down, preferably down to 15%, with a long term goal of lower. But it was either this or more cuts.

Bloody useless Labour running a deficit in a boom, and now crowing Keynesian rhetoric. They could’ve paid the whole national debt off in the last ten years and we’d still have had vast improvements in services.

3. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Tories in “don’t actually believe in anything other than what benefits them at any given point” shocker.

2. MatGB

‘ A VAT rise was inevitable. I hate that it was so. I hope that the LDs, with their penchant for costing everythign, will go into the next election committed to bringing it down, preferably down to 15%, with a long term goal of lower. But it was either this or more cuts. ‘

Well you will need to leave the EU if you want VAT to be lower. The EU minimum is 15% for the standard rate.

I don’t know what you mean by ‘ a VAT rise was inevitable ‘. It was inevitable that they would do it but it was of course a choice and an unnecessary one. On the Office for Budget Responsibility own figures the cyclically-adjusted current balance is forecast to be in surplus by 0.8% of GDP at the end of 2015-16. Raising the standard VAT rate to 20% will raise 13 billion by 2014-15. Therefore, the Chancellor has built in the possibility of a 15 billion bribe before the next election. The coalition could have achieved their fiscal objectives without the VAT rise. The VAT rise is financing to bribe the electorate before the next election.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Nicole Healing

    RT @libcon: Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT rise? http://bit.ly/aAiGCO

  2. Huw Spanner

    We are so used to politicians lying to us for electoral gain – but why do they get away with it? RT @libcon: http://bit.ly/aAiGCO

  3. bethan john

    RT @libcon: Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT rise? http://bit.ly/aAiGCO

  4. Christopher Roussel

    Ahhh, the rhetoric in politics: http://is.gd/d0h1n

  5. sdv_duras

    RT @impleri: Ahhh, the rhetoric in politics: http://is.gd/d0h1n

  6. Liberal Conspiracy

    Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT rise? http://bit.ly/aAiGCO

  7. AndyG

    RT @libcon: Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT rise? http://bit.ly/aAiGCO

  8. Chloe Setter

    RT @libcon: Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT rise? http://bit.ly/aAiGCO

  9. Stuart Vallantine

    A wee reminder for those who voted Tory or were conned by the Lib Dems: http://s.coop/toryVATlies

  10. Kate Muggins

    http://bit.ly/aAiGCO /via @libcon STUFF TAX! STUFF TAX! maybe wd be more emotive if about specific stuff eg England kit tax. Cake tax etc.

  11. Rogue

    RT @libcon Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT rise? http://bit.ly/9v1REG

  12. elgan

    RT @libcon: Remember when Tories campaigned against VAT rise? http://bit.ly/aAiGCO

  13. Tory dishonesty on austerity logic « Tribune – Labour leadership gossip, news, features and comment from Britain's left-wing magazine

    […] Conspiracy reports this morning that the Tories unveiled a poster two years ago accusing Labour of dishonestly planning to raise VAT by 20% without letting the […]

  14. >>Nostalgia For Infinity - Just sayin’ (you’re hypocrites (quelle surprise))

    […] And sometime in 2009: […]

  15. Mark Best

    @ninetyone banter http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/06/23/remember-when-tories-campaigned-against-vat-rise/

  16. Thrifty

    @TomBlenkinsop There's a good interview with Cameron back when he was supposedly against the VAT rise here : http://tinyurl.com/2vyljuq





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