Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Spotlight
  2. Elections
8 April 2010

New Lib Dem poster attacks Tory VAT “bombshell”

Should this have been Labour's poster?

By George Eaton


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.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

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?

Follow the New Statesman team on Facebook.