2 July 2010

Addendum 7 July 2010: Erasing history
The Libdem party press release about Clegg and the Tory VAT bombshell linked to in my first paragraph below has now been removed from the Libdem site.

The leader of the Libdems, Nick Clegg, said on 8 April 2010 at the launch of a Libdem poster campaign against what they said was a ‘Tory VAT bombshell’ that “Liberal Democrats have costed, in full, our proposals for tax cuts. We can tell you, penny for penny, pound for pound, who pays for them. We will not have to raise VAT to deliver our promises. The Conservatives will. Let me repeat that: Our plans do not require a rise in VAT. The Tory plans do. Their tax promises… come with a secret VAT bombshell close behind.” See the poster here.

On 9 April 2010 the Daily Telegraph reported: “When questioned, Mr Clegg himself repeatedly declined to promise explicitly that VAT would not rise under the Lib Dems, before eventually saying it would not.”

Vince Cable, the business secretary in the Tory Libdem government, and the Tories and Libdems have said that the budget VAT rise is necessary to reduce the deficit. Cable has explained the pre-election VAT-bombshell campaign thus: “We were trying to score a point against the Conservatives, if you like. Okay, well that was in the election. We have now moved past the election.”