Today’s lead story in The Times has the shock revelation:
Gordon Brown pushed through next year’s planned rise in national insurance against the advice of senior Treasury officials who argued instead for an increase in VAT
The Prime Minister was backed by Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, during vigorous debate at the top of the Cabinet in which Alistair Darling and Lord Mandelson were equally open to increasing VAT to raise the billions required to help to cut the deficit.
But wait, let’s go back to Rachel Sylvester’s column of last Tuesday:
In the run-up to last year’s Pre-Budget Report the Chancellor and the Business Secretary argued internally that it would be better to deal with the deficit through an increase in VAT than a rise in national insurance. They were overruled by Mr Brown, who sided with Mr Balls.
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