Today, in the United Kingdom the VAT (tax on all goods bought or sold) has risen from 17.5% to 20% in an effort by the new coalition government to cure the financial deficit. It doesn't seem much really but experts say it could put 250,000 jobs at risk and could cost families up to £520 extra per year.
|Drivers queue up to refill their cars before the added tax takes effect. (dailymail.co.uk)|
In a move which Tory chancellor of the exchequer, George Osbourne, calls this both 'necessary' and a 'reasonable rate' but Labour and other left-wing politicians see it otherwise.
One interesting blog, Left Foot Forward, gives five facts about the VAT rise which are quite damning of the idea. They go from the fact that the rise was avoidable to the way it will affect areas further away from London and the south-east the most.
Most shocking (or maybe not depending on how you see politics) is the promise that the Conservative government first made after they had introduced VAT in 1979 at 10%: not to double VAT. Now, 32 years later, Tories are still promising that VAT increases are not in their plans but that original VAT has doubled.
Looks like the warnings about Conservatives by the Liberal Democrats (see below) have come true. In their quest for power, the Liberals themselves have compromised to be a part of the government which lets it happen.