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Value Added Tax

Volume 522: debated on Wednesday 26 January 2011

3. What recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect in Scotland of the increase in the basic rate of value added tax. (35126)

May I associate myself with the Secretary of State’s comments on Phil Gallie? Phil was a true, great Conservative in Scotland.

I have regular discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a range of issues. The VAT rise is a tough but necessary step towards Britain’s economic recovery. Income tax and national insurance increases would have had a more damaging impact on poorer people in our society.

Almost half the respondents to a recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses said that they would increase prices because of the VAT rise, and 45% of those respondents said that the rise would decrease turnover and have an obvious impact in hindering job creation and growth. How can the Secretary of State and the Minister continue to sell out the people of Scotland and support this abysmal tax rise?

How can the hon. Gentleman continue to fail to take responsibility for his Government’s record, which took our country to the brink of bankruptcy and required the VAT rise to fill the black hole? If anyone is responsible for the issues that Scottish business currently faces, it is his Government.