Government spending is approaching 50% of GDP, taxation is almost 40% of GDP and the consequent budget deficit is unsustainable. The choice is either taxes rise to finance government spending or government spending is reduced to balance the budget in line with tax revenues.
The British economy can not support a level of taxation above 40% of GDP, investment and enterprise would be driven away. To pay down the government’s debts we need a growing economy, creating wealth and tax revenues. We are already over-taxed, the productive sector of the economy is intolerably burdened by taxation to pay for the unproductive. If we want to grow the economy and balance the budget we can’t risk further increasing the overall tax burden.
Increasing VAT will reduce consumption, punish the High Street and burden the poor more than the rich. Before the election the Coalition’s leading political figures were asked time and time again: would they raise VAT? Time and time again they said they had no such plans. Trust in politicians is at a low, if George Osborne raises VAT or widens the scope of the tax he will be doing so without a mandate and it will betray what little trust was placed in his oft repeated claim that he did not plan to raise VAT.
Worst of all, it will take money out of the economy which could undermine the recovery. The City is not asking for tax hikes, the gilt market only wants spending control and the polls say the public favour spending cuts. George, the choice is clear, bring the economy into balance by controlling spending, reducing the tax burden and going for economic growth…