Cameron rules out VAT increase

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Published: Wednesday 25th March 2015 by The News Editor

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David Cameron has ruled out an increase in VAT in the next parliament if the Conservatives are returned to power at the general election.

Challenged by Ed Miliband at the final Prime Minister’s Questions before the election on May 7 whether he would rule out a VAT rise, Mr Cameron said: “Straight answers deserve straight questions and the answer’s yes.”

Amid raucous scenes, the Labour leader retorted: “Nobody is going to believe him because of his extreme spending plans.”

The Prime Minister responded by repeatedly challenging Mr Miliband to rule out a rise in national insurance under a Labour government – which he declined to do.

Mr Cameron declared: “Straight answer from me, straight question to him – I have ruled out VAT, will he rule out national insurance contributions, yes or no?”

Mr Miliband sought to deflect the question, saying: “He’ll have plenty of time to ask questions after May 7.”

The Labour leader insisted the Conservatives’ spending figures did not add up and that the Office for Budget Responsibility had warned they would mean a “much sharper squeeze on real spending” than at any time over the last five years.

He sought to highlight what he said were the Conservatives’ “broken promises” on the National Health Service, immigration and cutting the top rate of tax.

“Nobody believes his promises. He has had five years of failing working families and worse to come – more spending cuts, more tax cuts for the richest, more betrayal. This has been a Government of the few for the few,” he said.

However there was clear delight among Tory MPs at the way Mr Cameron had apparently drawn the sting from one of Labour’s most potent attack lines – that a Conservative government would be forced to put up VAT.

The Prime Minister instead insisted that it was Labour who would raise taxes through increasing national insurance contributions.

“This is Labour’s jobs tax, this is their tax of choice, this is what they clobber working people, families, enterprises with,” he said to Conservative cheers.

Published: Wednesday 25th March 2015 by The News Editor

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