Just where are The Telegraph coming from ?
The Telegraph is usually a pretty pro-Tory paper right ?
Well what about this one ? : Tories study plans for 20pc VAT which ‘reveals’ that “The Conservatives are studying plans to increase VAT to 20 per cent if they win power at the next election”
Well that will go down brilliantly won’t it ? It will just turn voters on to the Tories by the thousand. Businesses will really enjoy changing VAT in May or June, after probably changing it in February as well, and it will really boost consumer confidence and make them want to go and spend money in the shops.
It will also proportionately tax the less well off more than wealthy as well – which is sure to go down well with the “Middle Britain” voters that the Tories are so keen to represent. Actually no it probably won’t go down so well with them. This remember from the party that usually says that it prefers minimal intervention from Government and a reduction in taxation. In fact I’d guess that this news would make quite a few people think twice about whether to vote Tory.
So who on earth in the Conservative party has thought up this little gift to Labour ? Well the telegraph says that “The proposal is being “very actively considered” at the highest level, according to senior shadow ministerial sources.”
Ah – so it’s not been officially discussed, and it’s not any body in particular – it’s sources - someone who knows someone, who knows someone, what said something about you-know-what, to you-know-who !
Most of the rest of the article is predictable anti-Government rhetoric – trying, as I highlighted in my blog last week Bailing out the banks & unemployment. to ride two horses at once. Blaming the Government for both raised unemployment, and for the borrowing which has helped avoid higher unemployment, (which if Friday’s headlines are to be trusted appears to be assisting the country towards an earlier than expected recovery from the recession).
However there’s some more odd bits towards the end :
We’re told that “The Conservative leader has also admitted that the introduction of road tolls and an end to tax credits for households earning more than £50,000 a year were among policies being considered” – so just to remind us who will lose out under a Tory government. Yep – it’s that Middle Britain group again. I’m not sure when he admitted that or who to – but presumably he did. Or maybe I am being too presumptuous because right at the end we’re told :
Last night, a Conservative spokesman said: “There are no plans for a VAT increase and there have been no discussions about it.”
Right. So panic over then. They’re not doing it at all. Not planning to. Not even talking about planning to. No.
So just how exactly does this little article help the Conservatives ?
It does make you think though : if this is how they treat their friends, how do they treat their enemies ?
Update : Thanks to @labourmatters for this video of David Cameron and Gordon Brown discussing this very issue :
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