Is this a pledge we can count on? After the Lib Dems suggested they wouldn’t increase VAT earlier, the Labour Chief Whip has told ITV’s Lucy Manning that his party won’t either. If so, it’s quite a turnaround from when both Darling and Cable refused to rule out VAT hikes during last week’s Chancellor’s debate.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a LibLab pincer movement against the Tories now: the two parties who seem to have ruled out VAT hikes against the one which is being being slightly more equivocal about it. As I said earlier, it would hardly be edifying politics. But the real worry is if it dissuades politicians from talking sensibly about how to fill our country’s fiscal black hole.