Pre-Budget Report debate

During the Pre-Budget Report debate, Charles Walker condemns the Government for proposing to increase VAT to 18.5% as it would hit hard-working families hardest.

Mr. Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con): Does my hon. Friend not agree that Labour's plans to increase VAT to 18.5 per cent.-or perhaps even 19.5 per cent.-after the next election will hit hard-working families hardest? Should the Government not be ashamed of themselves?

Mr. Osborne: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The details are here in the Treasury document that this Government published, and let me assure my hon. Friend that the Government are going to hear about it every single day between now and the next general election.

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LATER IN THE SAME DEBATE

Mr. Walker: It is estimated that by the time we reach the end of this recession, this country's national debt will be £1 trillion. Can the Chief Secretary tell us how many zeroes there are in a trillion?

Yvette Cooper: We have set out the forecasts. We are increasing debt and increasing borrowing, because that is the right thing to do, as part of the £20 billion fiscal boost announced by the Chancellor, which includes cutting VAT, extra cash for families and pensioners, income tax cuts and speeding up investment to support jobs, as well as extra help for small businesses in particular, which goes considerably further than the measures that the shadow Chancellor has announced.

 

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