November 26, 2008

Secret tax plan causes stir in Britain

Britain's Shadow Chancellor George Osborne is crying foul after a Treasury document inadvertently posted on a Web site showed a discarded plan to raise taxes.

The document that appeared on a government Web site showed British ministers had contemplated raising the value added tax by 1 percent following the next British election, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

In a Pre-Budget Report unveiled Monday, Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling proposed to lower the tax from 17.5 to 15 percent through January 2010.

But, Osborne said the plan revealed on the Web site was Labor's secret tax bombshell.

It explains why there is a black hole in the PBR, because at the last minute (Prime Minister) Gordon Brown clearly decided to keep secret his plan to hit everyone with an extra tax rise to pay for his borrowing binge.

The plan includes increased borrowing that would push the country's debt to $1.5 trillion, The Times reported on Monday.

Business Secretary Peter Mandelson responded to the outcry, saying the Conservatives were seizing on anything for political gain, The Times reported.