Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Tories signal VAT rise

Shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke has signalled that a Conservative government would be ready to raise taxes – including VAT – if they win this year’s general election.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Clarke said it would be “folly” to rule out tax rises alongside cutbacks in public spending to help cut Britain’s deficit.

He said: “In order to maintain the confidence of the markets and to create conditions for growth and employment, then you may have to look at tax increases.”

On VAT, which some commentators expect the Tories to raise to 20% at least temporarily if they win power, Clarke said: “We will try to avoid it, we’ll minimise it if we have to by having proper control of public spending, which we haven’t had in this country in the last 12 years.”

The VAT rate returned to 17.5% on January 1.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.