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Labour lambasts coalition over VAT

The coalition's VAT hike has cost the average family more than £1,300 over the past three years, Labour has claimed.

Chancellor George Osborne used his first Budget in June 2010 to announce that he was raising the rate of VAT from 17.5% to 20% from January 2011.

Labour said that Treasury figures show that couples with children paid out on average £1,350 more as a result of the change.

Shadow treasury minister Shabana Mahmood said: "David Cameron claims he is helping ordinary families, but his figures always omit the big rise in VAT three years ago. He gives with one hand, but takes away much more with the other.

"The truth is that the only people who have got big a tax cut under this Government are those earning over £150,000.

"And while everyone else faces a cost-of-living crisis, David Cameron wants to give the richest 1% another big tax cut. He's totally out of touch."

Belfast Telegraph