New Lib Dem poster attacks Tory VAT “bombshell”

Should this have been Labour's poster?

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Here's the smart new Lib Dem poster that launches a pre-emptive attack on the Conservatives over a possible rise in VAT. It's an echo of the Tories' own 1992 poster on Labour's "tax bombshell", which put paid to Neil Kinnock's hopes of entering Downing Street.

As Peter Hoskin points out at Coffee House, like the Tories' "death tax" poster, it does play loose and fast with the facts. The average voter will see this and assume that George Osborne has officially announced an increase in VAT. Of course he's done nothing of the sort (yet).

But it's perfectly reasonable of the Lib Dems to argue, as Ed Balls has, that it is very difficult to see how the Tories will fulfil their pledge to reduce the Budget deficit faster than Labour without a rise in VAT or some other equally regressive tax.

After the Gene Hunt debacle, Labour supporters must be kicking themselves for not coming up with this one.

So, I'm left wondering, is this another sign that the Lib Dems would gravitate towards Labour in a hung parliament?

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George Eaton is senior online editor of the New Statesman.

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