Tuesday, 13 July 2010
VAT INCREASE WILL HIT RURAL AREAS HARDEST - WHITEFORD
Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has hit out at the London parties after the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats this evening (Tuesday) voted to raise VAT, while Labour MPs abstained in a vote for an SNP amendment to bring relief for households and businesses.
Speaking from Westminster this evening, Dr Whiteford said:
"The Con/Dem coalition's decision to proceed with this rise is economically illiterate. This increase in VAT will cause real pain for households and businesses, and hinder economic recovery.
"For Labour MPs to sit on their hands and abstain on this vote is absolutely unforgivable. First Labour let the Tories into government, and now they are standing back while the Tories and Liberals impose savage cuts and painful tax hikes. This failure will haunt the Labour Party in Scotland for years to come.
"The VAT increase will hit rural areas like ours hardest. VAT increases on fuel will be in addition to the increases in duty, which will have a knock-on effect on the price of all goods transported into the North-east. We will see prices of food and other essentials rise, and all of us will be affected, at a time when many are already feeling the spending squeeze.
"Increasing VAT will put a strain on our public services at a time when they need support more than ever. The NHS in Scotland, for example, will be hit by a £26m hike in the VAT bill.
"The VAT increase also piles the pain on businesses already struggling through Labour's recession – taking spending power out of the economy and exacerbating cash flow problems.
"The Tories and the Liberals have already endangered the recovery by cutting too far and too fast. The decision to increase VAT is a political choice and it is a wrong choice."