Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis is backing a group of Tory MPs that is calling for a 15% increase in the rate of VAT charged on food and children’s clothes. In its briefing in advance of the Chancellor’s autumn statement the Free Enterprise Group of 42 Tory MPs called for the rate of VAT to be equalised at 15% across the board and for the removal of the exemptions that currently apply to children’s clothes and some food. At present families pay 0% VAT on these items.
Lara Norris, Labour’s General Election candidate for Great Yarmouth, said:
"This shocking proposal to increase the price of food and children's clothes by 15% shows the true face of Brandon Lewis and David Cameron's Conservative Party. They don't understand the pressures facing families in Great Yarmouth, and they just don't care. At a time when families are facing a cost of living crisis, you have to be spectacularly out of touch to suggest putting VAT on food, children's clothes and books.
"I know what it’s like to try and make ends meet every month, because I've been there and made the sacrifices you have to make to keep your children clothed and fed. I can’t imagine how tough it would have been if I’d had to pay an extra 15% on all my essential costs. Families can't afford this.
"Brandon Lewis is a supporter of the Free Enterprise Group, but he should immediately distance himself from this proposal to hit struggling families with further increases in the cost of living.
The Free Enterprise Group briefing note can be seen below