Peterloo in our time?

Two stories have emerged in the last 24 hours that have caused me to fire up the Pentium. The first is Gordon Brown's surprise visit to Afghanistan and the second is the revelation that the idea of imposing VAT on food is being "talked about".

The Brown story is coupled with the announcement that money is to be invested in 200 new army vehicles; better armoured than the heavily criticised "Snatch" Land Rover. Of this story, coming hard upon the heels of Gordon's appearance at Chilcot, contrdicted by Army Chiefs, in which he asserted "disingenuously" that no request from the Army for funding was refused, I can only say that this is most cynical political ploy I have seen in a long time, and though welcome, is timed to do nothing more than take the heat off the lying bastard.

The second story, that after the election, a plan to impose VAT on food is being seriously discussed in Whitehall is frankly, beyond my ability to comprehend right now. If ever this happened, it would be a tax on living and would hurt the poorest. I cannot see it being in any way politically possible. A government that imposed VAT on food would be sending us back to the 19th Century and the Corn Laws, except that, instead of protecting the landed gentry, this would protect the bloated public sector and its bottomless pit of expenditure that Socialism today squeezes from every person who works for a living.

The people rioted then. If they introduce VAT on basic foodstuffs in this country, I will do everything I can to oppose it, including violence and mayhem if necessary. The time will have come. The Time will have come.

8 comments:

denverthen said...

Hey, WW,

There's a great big, trillion-pound, thing that I call Brown's Debt to pay off.

The paying off of it will make us all much, much poorer - for decades. VAT on food merely signals the start of the decent.

But I don't really care. At all. I'm tired and my personal view is, apparently, not relevant anyway - according to my own (Labour) local authority.

Honestly, I've had enough. I give up. Let's all just financially die.

braveheart said...

There has always been VAT on food WW. Importers and distributers pay VAT. Takeaways pay VAT and a lot of the food we buy in the supermarkets is expensive because the suppliers pay VAT. This is passed on to us.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/5141209/Innocent-seeks-VAT-exemption-for-smoothies.html

Mrs Rigby said...

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article242170.ece

"Alistair Darling last night vowed to veto the move in his first battle as Chancellor. A Treasury source said: “Alistair is crystal clear. He will veto any European attempt to tax food or children’s clothes.”

He didn't say there were no plans for Britain to add VAT to basic foodstuffs. Pity really.

Beginning to feel the same as denverthen - tired of it all.

Ruth@VS said...

A similar thing has been said recently about putting VAT on books. I can't see either of these things happening, personally. It would be politically disastrous and administratively a nightmare. HMRC could not cope with adding many thousands of businesses to the VAT register, those businesses would protest massively and the VAT would push up the cost of the public sector too. Seems like a no-brainer to me. But let's face it, Labour have done many stupid things in their time...

Richard said...

VAT on food would be a kind of line in the sand for me. That is something that would get me out on the streets.

Goodnight Vienna said...

The govt tends to 'leak' ideas like this to the press and sit back to gauge the reaction so I'd be surprised if it gets very far. Agree with comments above - *political suicide*. It shows that the govt is sitting on an economic time bomb and no-one else knows just how bad the books are, yet.

Gallimaufry said...

Hope this makes the question of VAT on food clear (!)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

A good point GV, let us hope they will understand that this move would not be popular. Gallimaufry, thanks for the definitive link. For those who may be uncertain, crisps and ice cream are not food, despite what some in Scotland may believe.