Supermarkets and retailers have already started to rip off the public by hiding additional price rises behind the new increase in VAT.
TheOpinionSite.org warned of this last month (http://theopinionsite.org/?p=518) but already the likes of Tesco, Asda and the other major retailers have increased their prices on essential goods by more than the VAT rise. As a result, we have had two major increases in two months. The average total increase is about 12%.
Government ministers and even the BBC continue to state that food and children’s clothes are exempt from VAT but fail to recognise that the additional tax on fuel and processing costs has a ‘butterfly’ effect and therefore pushes up the price of everything, particularly goods that are expensive to transport such as meat, vegetables and milk and dairy products.
According to Chancellor George Osborne, the tax increase is fair. However, he continues to refuse to acknowledge the reports from leading accountants KPMG and the Institute for Fiscal Studies that clearly show the poor spending a greater proportion of their income on VAT than the rich.
That a Conservative led government would rob the poorest in society is hardly a surprise but it is totally unjust that the biggest retailers in the country should attack them as well for the sake of profits. Some of the biggest price increases in Tesco and Asda are to be found on ‘basic’ items and lower priced ‘value’ products; exactly the type of products that the poorest people are forced to buy.
The Government refuses to address this problem and claims it has no mandate to do so. This leads the way open for retailers generally and supermarkets in particular to thieve with impunity.
The VAT increase would be unnecessary if bankers bonuses were refused. The £13 billion paid to the bankers is the same amount to be raised by the increase in VAT. To add insult to injury, the banks in question are largely owned by us, the public.
With another budget likely in the Spring, a further rise in taxes should not be ruled out either.
TheOpinionSite.org is more concerned with the effect of all this on those who are unemployed and on benefits.
Cameron, Clegg and Osborne have ruled out increasing Income Tax but there is already a rise in National Insurance – which is Income Tax by another name – scheduled for later in the year.
With the rate of inflation rising and likely to increase further as a result of the rise in VAT, the spending power of those on benefits will be reduced even further causing them increasingly greater hardship.
The Government does not care about these people, content instead to look after their own kind who are largely unaffected whilst at the same time reducing Housing Benefit and trying to force people into poor quality ‘training’ or non-existent jobs.
It was unsurprising therefore that Prince Charles’s Rolls-Royce was attacked last month by students and others subject to cuts in state help; it will probably be attacked again. TheOpinionSite.org confidently predicts that there will be still worse to come as people who are already defenceless continue to be battered by higher prices and lower benefits caused by conservative government ideology.
When there are riots on the streets and people lobbing bricks through supermarket windows the Government may wake up to the enormous damage it is causing to those who have little choice but to be poor. It is right that the national deficit is reduced but it should be those who caused the problems that should pay for it, not those who have already been ripped off once by the bankers, once by the Government and twice by the retailers.