5 April 2022 – today’s press releases

  • Sunak to cash in £40 billion VAT windfall as families face cost of living crisis
  • Brand Putin’s armies and mercenaries as terrorists in response to atrocities

Sunak to cash in £40 billion VAT windfall as families face cost of living crisis

  • Rishi Sunak set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over next four years due to soaring prices
  • Typical family to pay £430 more in VAT next year, on top of National Insurance rise coming into force today
  • Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey launches local election campaign with call to slash VAT and save struggling families £600

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to rake in an extra £38.6 billion in VAT over the next four years, as skyrocketing inflation leads to higher prices in the shops, official forecasts have revealed.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows this means a typical family will pay an estimated £430 more in VAT next year, compared to what they paid in 2021-22. The figures are taken from the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The tax raid comes on top of the Conservative government’s manifesto-breaking increases to Income Tax and National Insurance, which come into force today and are set to leave the typical family £535 a year worse off even before the extra VAT hits.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey will put the issue at the heart of the party’s local elections campaign today (Wednesday 6 April), urging the government to tackle the cost of living crisis by cutting taxes for struggling families.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency cut to VAT, slashing the top rate from 20% to 17.5% for one year, a move that would save families an average of around £600. The plans would also give a boost to struggling high street businesses by encouraging spending, and help keep inflation under control by reducing prices in the shops.

Speaking ahead of the party’s local election campaign launch today, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Families are facing soaring energy bills and desperately need a tax cut to help them make ends meet. But instead of helping, the Conservatives are breaking their promises by raising taxes again and again.

These elections are an opportunity to send a message to this Conservative government that they can’t afford to take people for granted any longer.

Right across the country, people are turning to the Liberal Democrats because they know we will listen and stand up for you and your community. We will fight for a fair deal that puts money into the pockets of struggling families through an emergency tax cut.

Brand Putin’s armies and mercenaries as terrorists in response to atrocities

Following the atrocities uncovered in Bucha and Irpin, Liberal Democrats are today calling for Russian military units involved to be proscribed by the UK Government.

In his address to the House of Commons in March 2022, President Zelensky asked Parliament to, “please recognise [Russia] as a terrorist state”.

The Liberal Democrats are proposing the use of proscription orders as part of a renewed package of measures in response to the atrocities being committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

The proposed measures include the expulsion of Russian diplomats based in Britain; and for the UK to lead calls at the ICC to issue an arrest warrant for Putin.

The use of proscription orders would designate Russian military units and mercenary groups, including the Wagner Group, as terrorist organisations.

Layla Moran MP, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson commented:

In light of the atrocities in Bucha, we cannot offer empty words while Putin and his soldiers continue to butcher innocent Ukrainian civilians.

Last month, President Zelensky called on Parliament to recognise Russia as a terrorist state. It is clear beyond all doubt that Russian mercenaries and military units are waging a war of terror on the Ukrainian people.

By proscribing these groups, they will be branded as terrorist organisations. This will make anyone engaging with them, anywhere in the world, in violation of UK law – putting pressure on those who have dealings with Putin’s mercenaries to pick a side.

We must also work with our international partners to ramp up the pressure on Putin. That means following our allies and expelling Russian diplomats – and treating Putin as the international criminal he is by leading calls for the ICC to issue an international arrest warrant.

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6 Comments

  • Brad Barrows 5th Apr '22 - 11:19pm

    Unfortunately Ed is still going on about cutting VAT as a way of helping people face the cost of living crisis even though such a cut will benefit wealthier people far more than poorer people (who spend less and a bigger proportion of their spend is zero rated).

  • Brad is right, Ed needs to get on message.
    1. Increase duty and vat on electric vehicles – this will have no impact on low-income families who cannot afford the premium electric cars carry. these revenues can be used to finance better public transport or pooled with other monies (see below).
    2. Use the monies currently being collected through the green levies on our energy bills more effectively, specifically to get solar-voltaic and solar-thermal panels on to large numbers of our roofs, with incentives for deprived areas.
    3. Levy full business rates and change of land usage duties, from the date of planning application, on all solar panel schemes that are on farm land. these schemes serve no useful purpose whilst we have so many acres of roofs (homes, businesses and warehousing) without solar panels. As the only people wanting to build “solar farms” are speculator/activist investors, this is additional revenue that can be taken with little impact on those on low incomes.

  • Kyle Harrison 6th Apr '22 - 9:28am

    The Lib Dems are a party for affluent middle class people that once would have voted Tory but don’t like Brexit etc… The Lib Dems always seems to attract lefty activists though for some reason even though the party has arguably always been a more cosmopolitan version of the Tories. I.e. Ted Heath, Heseltine etc… They could be Lib Dems quite easily. Ed Davey lives in once true blue Kingston so it’s not surprising the way he views the Lib Dems. Winning middle class voters that used to vote Tory in times past is how he keeps his seat.

    The thing is, making the numbers add up after the next election is going to be very difficult. If Labour win they will inherit a very different situation to 1997. No budget surplus anymore that’s for sure. Taxes already at high levels. It’s going to make a “progressive” govt very difficult when the left are calling for more spending on everything.

  • Nonconformistradical 6th Apr '22 - 10:04am

    @Kyle Harrison
    “The Lib Dems are a party for affluent middle class people that once would have voted Tory but don’t like Brexit etc…”
    I’d describe myself as being comfortably off – old, retired, company pension etc. I have never ever contemplated voting tory in my life.

  • Alex Macfie 6th Apr '22 - 12:40pm

    @Kyle Harrison: I live in Kingston (albeit in the part of the Borough that is in Sarah Olney’s Richmond Park constituency). Your characterisation of this area is a gross generalisation. There are many working-class estates in Kingston, and Ed is very popular in those as the local MP. The less well-off (many natural Labour voters voting tactically) and lower-middle class form the bedrock of our support. It’s similar in Sarah Olney’s constituency. She is most popular in the ‘ordinary’ middle-class areas such as North Kingston, and we’ve only more recently begun making inroads into the posher areas where people have fallen out of love with Zac Goldsmith.

    It’s not necessary to be Tory-lite to win in traditionally Tory areas. Both Layla Moran and Wera Hobhouse, considered to be on the radical wing of our party, represent mainly well-heeled middle-class folk. What the voters there tend not to like is the reactionary hard left of Corbyn & co, but even the radical activists in our party tend not to have any of that baggage.

  • Helen Dudden 6th Apr '22 - 12:59pm

    Don’t play victim. I’ve learnt through having a disability, I have to put up with a lot, ignorance is a big problem.
    If someone doesn’t have the money to pay these bills do they go hungry? Do children risk health issues?
    We are in a very concerning place at present, when one MP asks if rescuing a disabled person will take too much time.
    Over 30 disabled people died at The Tower fire, plus the many others.
    I believe we all have the right to life, disabled or able, the more I hear, the more concerned I feel about the society we are becoming.

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