VAT proposal yet to face scrutiny

Posted on: 18th May 2011

Originally posted June 30th 2010

Andrew George MP has issued the following statement to help those who are trying to follow the debate on the Budget proposal to increase VAT by 2½% in 2011:

“Monday night’s votes (on the seven Budget resolutions) were not critical as far as the VAT rise goes. It was a procedural measure which passed Budget resolutions into the Finance Bill. That Finance Bill will now need to progress, in the coming weeks, through four stages of Parliamentary scrutiny, which will begin next Tuesday.

“My amendment asked for hard evidence to support a tough decision on VAT. It is ludicrous of those spinning the story for other Parties to suggest that I should decide in advance before I had received the very information I had requested!

“It is very important that this significant measure is subjected to proper and calm scrutiny in the coming weeks.

“Britain has endured a one party system for decades. So I understand when some people are not able to distinguish between a genuine debate and intelligent questioning on the one hand and portraying that debate as a rebellion and a rift on the other.

“This Coalition is a coalition of two very distinct parties. This is also a new Parliament. Important issues like VAT rises should be subject to debate. Although some may wish to characterise this as a rebellion, the important job of holding the Government to account is what responsible Parliamentarians should be doing. Watch this space.”