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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Labour hypocrisy on VAT

I spotted this morning that Labour AM, Ann Jones had had a go at the Liberal Democrats for supporting the increase in VAT to 20% from next year. She is quoted in the Western Mail as saying:

“The decision to increase VAT completely blows out of the water any pretence that this is a progressive government acting in the interests of Welsh people.

“VAT hits low-income groups the hardest and will end up having a huge impact on thousands of vulnerable families and communities right across Wales. The Government needs to understand the depth of feeling there is against an unfair, ill-thought out tax hike like this that causes most pain to those that earn the least.”

She may well be right, though I would argue that VAT is not as regressive as she says and would also point out that it was Labour who maintained the level of VAT at 17.5% for their whole term of office and put it back to that level following the short period when it was at 15%.

However, the big question Ann and her Labour colleagues have to answer is why, if they are so opposed to this VAT increase, they did not vote for the Nationalist amendment last night, which would have scrapped it and why they did not manage to get all their MPs into the House of Commons for the final three line whip on this issue?

It seems principles are easy on paper but not so when it comes to putting them into practice.
So basically this post is adding New Labour to the list of parties who sold their principles on VAT. The list is now;

Lib 'vat bombshell' Dems
Cameron's 'no plans' Conservatives
New 'talk loud, do little' Labour
Good point Peter!

Either against it or not. Labour can't have it both ways.
Maybe we all recognise that it is a necessary measure to get the economy back on track but Labour are just playing games.
"...Labour are just playing games"

No S**T Sherlock!

Bit like Labour spending money they didn't have by signing new contracts and blaming the incoming administration of cutting capital building programs
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