So basically, both those things are definitely going to happen if the Financial Secretary’s party is elected in a few weeks’ time.
Where are we today? The same old Tories and the same old story. Whatever the Prime Minister has said today simply will not answer the justifiable charge against the Government about why they should be trusted if we look only at their record and at what they have delivered in this Parliament. They broke their promise after the last general election and they will do the same after the next one. At the end of each Parliament since 1979 in which the Tories have been in government, they have raised an average of £13.5 billion from VAT changes. The electorate know that when it comes to VAT and the Tories, actions will always speak louder than words. People know that they cannot be trusted because they break their promises again and again. They broke their promises in 1979, 1992 and 2010, and they will break them in 2015.
According to work by the Treasury, an additional 2.5% rise in VAT would cost a family with children an average of £450 a year and a pensioner couple £275 a year. From what they have shown us in government, it is not Tory party policy to ask those most able to contribute more to do so; in fact, it is their policy to give a tax cut to those earning more than £150,000 a year.