…but the cancellation of the announcement doesn’t mean that the tax rise itself has also been cancelled. Read Ben Brogan’s hugely plausible account of the behind-the-scenes differences between Brown and Darling.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has reacted to the leaked reports that Labour were planning to raise VAT to 18.5% (after the temporary, 13 month cut):
"This is Labour’s secret tax bombshell. It explains why there is a black hole in the PBR. Because at the last minute Gordon Brown clearly decided to keep secret his plan to hit everyone with an extra tax rise to pay for his borrowing binge. Gordon Brown told us that he would have no “hidden manifesto” and that “everything is above board”. But these documents show that Labour was planning to deceive the British public, and will raise VAT on everyone after the election. Labour have a secret tax bombshell set to explode under the British people if they ever get re-elected. It tells you all you need to know about Gordon Brown and Labour."
After your comment yesterday Comstock we used The Guardian frontpage especially for you :-)