The Council recognises the Government’s need to bring down the borrowing deficit and the need to make decisions over tax and spending. The Council notes however that this should be done in as fair a manner as possible, should not have a disproportionate impact on the poor and should not risk economic recovery.
The Council further notes the report produced by the Institute of Fiscal Studies which says that the increase in VAT will impact those on low incomes the hardest and this includes pensioners living on savings.
This Council instructs the Leader of the Borough Council to write to the Deputy Prime Minister asking him to reconsider the VAT increase to 20%.”
But no they voted en-block against it !!
"The economy is in a worse state than we thought" they cried"
Not true as a) All the opposition parties are shown the red book way before the election and b) The deficit was expected on polling day to be £178bn but bettered to be only around £155bn post election a £23bn boost for the coalition government before a single cut has been made!!
"Its needed to balance the books" they bleated
Not true as the Institute of Financial Studies director Robert Chote pointed out to Mr Clegg when he told him that "the Coalition would not have had to raise VAT if Mr Osborne had not also cut other taxes, such as those on the profits of corporations".
"It won't be all that bad as inflation will fall" they squirmed
Not true as Sally Copley, head of policy at Save the Children UK recently outlined when she informed Parliament that "A 20% VAT rate means the poorest parents will see their VAT bill rise to at least £1,600 a year — affecting already overstretched budgets — and driving some into the arms of loan sharks," Copley said. "We mustn't forget that 3.9 million children are still living in poverty in this country — and that's just not good enough. The very poorest didn't create the financial crisis — so the most vulnerable in society should not be asked to pay the price for clearing it up."
I therefore last night pleaded with them to vote with their consciences and to stay true to their individual principles. I asked them to think about how shallow they will look if having campaigned against the rise in VAT before the election that they now are seen to be backing it.
All though to no avail, as en masse the Lib Dem with heads held low succumbed to the whip and the yellow sheep were safely shepherded in to back their Tory colleagues in voting the motion down
But one comment from Cllr John Yates summed up the whole sorry affair for me and reminded me why I struggle to trust any of the parties these days. His response to the debate speaks not only for itself but sums up the state we are now in. He said
"I don't see what all the fuss is about, all the political parties promise to do one thing before the election and then afterwards they have to think again and then change their minds and have to do something else, it's natural"
Indeed John indeed.