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Increase in VAT wrong way to address budget deficits - McLaughlin

4 January, 2011



Sinn Féin MLA and economic spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin has stated that the increase in VAT is the wrong way for the British government to address their deficit and that the increase will affect those who can least afford it, increase inflation and reduce overall growth.

“The increase in VAT for 17.5% to 20% is a further punitive measure from a Tory dominated coalition. It will reduce spending power of the consumer and will therefore affect any economic recovery while increasing inflation. It is another example of the mistaken economic policy of cut backs, rather than investment, to escape recession.

“The increase in VAT will really affect those who can least afford it by reducing money for the weekly grocery bill, it will add to already inflated home heating bills, and will increase fuel prices at the pumps to record highs.

“The raising of VAT is expected to bring in £13bn. However if the British government were really interested is addressing the burden that the banking system has placed on the budget then they should address the cause of the problem in the interests of wider society.

“The tax write-off granted to the Vodaphone of £6bn for instance would have taken in half of this amount. If the British government were to bother to delve deeper this amount could easily be made up by identifying other tax-dodgers and taking appropriate measures to recoup lost taxes.

“This increase is brought about by a Tory led cabinet comprised of individuals who are endowed with large personal fortunes, who I am quite sure, will not feel the affect of any VAT increase.  So an easy choice for the rich but more pain for the less fortunate.”

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