Brazen betrayal Rishi Sunak warned of impending revolt after new £40BN VAT tax raid

Rishi Sunak baffles MP with claims Universal Credit is 'generous'

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The additional £38.6billion VAT windfall comes as rocketing inflation leads to higher prices in shops, official forecasts reveal. The typical family will pay an estimated £430 more in VAT next year, compared to what they paid in 2021-22, according to the latest figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts. The tax raid comes on top of the Chancellor’s Income Tax and National Insurance hikes, which come into force on Wednesday, and are set to leave the typical family £535 a year worse off – even before the extra VAT hits.

The Liberal Democrats are now calling for a tax cut to ease the “cost of living emergency” as they start campaigning for the upcoming English council elections.

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney told “These Conservative tax hikes are a brazen betrayal to those in the Blue Wall and people know it.

“Voters have the chance to send the Government a message they can’t ignore this May by revolting, supporting the Liberal Democrats, and abandoning the Conservatives in their former true blue heartlands.”

The Lib Dems say the Tories breaking their manifesto pledge and raising taxes will significantly dampen the support in previous true-blue constituencies.

The rocketing cost of living – which is being driven by global economic turmoil and the war in Ukraine – has been a key issue ahead of the elections.

The squeeze on Britons’ finances is likely to test support for political parties across the UK.

The polls will take place on May 5, when votes will be held to elect local councils in England, Wales and Scotland, and the government in Northern Ireland.

In a bid to win votes, Ed Davey’s party is calling for an emergency cut to VAT, slashing the top rate from 20 percent to 17.5 percent for one year in 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.

The demand to cut taxes for struggling families was the centrepiece of the Lib Dem’s local elections campaign which was formally launched on Wednesday.

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.”

In addition to the tax cut, the Lib Dems are proposing a sewage tax on water companies to fund the clean-up of rivers in the UK.

They also want to establish a national community ambulance fund to allow trusts to reopen ambulance stations and cancel planned closures.

The Treasury has been approached for comment.

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