David Cameron has ruled out an increase in VAT if he retains power at the general election. He made the pledge during his final Commons clash with Ed Miliband before polling day. It comes after George Osborne repeatedly declined to rule out a VAT increase when questioned by MPs on Tuesday. Mr Miliband cast doubt on the prime minister’s promise, pointing out his government had raised VAT in 2010. Labour later announced it would not put NI up after Mr Cameron challenged the party to rule out an increase. The IFS has warned the two parties could find themselves with little room for manoeuvre in the next parliament in the event of an economic downturn following the announcements.
So: no VAT increase. No NIC increase. Looks like a bad time after the election for windows, hats and soap then.