The fight to stop the VAT bombshell goes on

Responding to two Lib Dem MPs – Bob Russell and Mike Hancock – voting against the proposed VAT rise in the House of Commons tonight, Ed Balls said:

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable warned of a Tory VAT bombshell in the general election but are now helping to deliver it. So it’s encouraging that two Lib Dem MPs have stood by their principles and voted against the most unfair and regressive tax rise of all.

As the Finance Bill goes through Parliament over the coming weeks, I hope other Lib Dem MPs will think carefully about whether they really came into politics to penalise pensioners, the unemployed and those on the lowest incomes.

Other Lib Dem MPs are right to call for an assessment on businesses, charities and households to be published as soon as possible. George Osborne could start by answering the parliamentary questions tabled two weeks ago by my campaign team and reveal the figures we know the Treasury have but are too embarrassed to publish.

This is a deeply unfair Budget, which hits the poorest hardest and will risk the recovery by taking money out of the economy just when we should be supporting jobs and growth. That’s why the fight to stop this unfair VAT bombshell must go on.

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Posted June 28th, 2010 by Ed's team

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2 Responses to “The fight to stop the VAT bombshell goes on”

  1. The coalition deal has given Clegg and other high-up Lib Dems seats at the cabinet table in exchange for their principles, but what have his back-benchers gotten? Nothing. And added to that, the Lib Dems are hemmoraghing points in the latest polls. Many backbenchers face going back to constituencies who elected them on the argument that it would keep the Tories out.

    I’m not sure if it shows principles or simply pragmatism from Lib Dem backbenchers to come out against an unfair and regressionary budget. But then again, I’m not sure if it matters. This budget is the pressing issue that needs to be dealt with. The principles of the Lib Dems can (and will) be dealt with, and punished, later by the voters.

  2. Quietzapple says:

    It will take a lot more than Hancock and Russell – both former Labour men – to defeat anything of importance in the Commons.

    Lets hope they cross the floor, Labour Conference and Ed Ball’s victory announcement would be a good time ;-)

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