Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 14th January 2009.

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Photo of David Cameron David Cameron Leader of HM Official Opposition, Leader of the Conservative Party 11:30 am, 14th January 2009

It is not that I think that the VAT cut is irrelevant; it is that the leaders of the biggest retail chains in Britain all think that it is not working and that it is irrelevant. The truth is that the Government's policies are achieving nothing. They announced a stamp duty holiday and the housing market got worse; they announced a bank bail-out, yet the banks are not lending; they announced a jobs summit on the day when thousands of jobs were lost. It is not just that the Prime Minister is running round like a headless chicken, making one bogus announcement after another, doing nothing for confidence. Is not the worst thing of all this: by spending £12.5 billion by cutting VAT, is he not just building up debts for Britain's children in a vain attempt to save his own skin?

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Bernard Keeffe
Posted on 16 Jan 2009 8:52 am (Report this annotation)

The Prime Minster claims that the cut in VAT has put £5 a week in the pocket of families. To achieve this the family must spend £400 a week on VATable goods and services.
Lord Mandelson also boasted on the BBC that the VAT cut had helped pensioners. A pensioner spending £10 on vatable items would save 25p a week Unlike MPS there are millions of pensioners who after paying for housing, heat and food, cannot afford to spend £10 a week, let alone the £400 to achieve saving of £5.
WHy can't MPs do their sums and realise this? To hear a Prime Minister talk such nonsense surrounded by MPS who want to stop us knowing how much they get in expenses sickens me. They are living in a virtual world.