Colchester MP Bob Russell at loggerheads with coalition over VAT increase

First published in News by

COLCHESTER MP Bob Russell has revealed he may oppose the Budget after increases in VAT were unveiled.

Yesterday’s budget revealed VAT will be increased from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent on January 4, something the Lib Dems campaigned against in the run-up to the election.

In a sign of the strains in the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition, Lib Dem Mr Russell said he could not see himself voting for the Budget.

He said: "Less than 50 days ago, I was seeking re-election in Colchester opposed to a raise in the level of VAT.

"So I am not at all happy."

* See Wednesday's Gazette for a special report on the Budget.

Comments (15)

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10:00pm Tue 22 Jun 10

Sdapeze says...

Wake up Bob. Labour have stuffed this country. We are bankrupt because of Brown 'prudence'. We must make these tax changes to recover the situation and to, more importantly, be seen to make these changes. Let us hope that the new government has the balls to do the job properly.
Wake up Bob. Labour have stuffed this country. We are bankrupt because of Brown 'prudence'. We must make these tax changes to recover the situation and to, more importantly, be seen to make these changes. Let us hope that the new government has the balls to do the job properly. Sdapeze
  • Score: 0

10:20pm Tue 22 Jun 10

Feisty CBC says...

20% vat! Shrinking economy on the cards again I feel.
20% vat! Shrinking economy on the cards again I feel. Feisty CBC
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Tue 22 Jun 10

Anna Key says...

Today's budget is nothing less than a declaration of war - a declaration of the Bosses class war against the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. Huge price rises through VAT for a low paid public sector worker like me, and a pay freeze. And a very real fear I was lose my job and have to live on benefits, which I know only too well is not enough to survive on as it is. Yet the middle classes have just been on the BBC 10.00 news declaring their delight. Promising words Bob, but will their be deeds?
Today's budget is nothing less than a declaration of war - a declaration of the Bosses class war against the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. Huge price rises through VAT for a low paid public sector worker like me, and a pay freeze. And a very real fear I was lose my job and have to live on benefits, which I know only too well is not enough to survive on as it is. Yet the middle classes have just been on the BBC 10.00 news declaring their delight. Promising words Bob, but will their be deeds? Anna Key
  • Score: 0

12:53am Wed 23 Jun 10

Boris says...

Everybody knows that VAT affects the poor more than the rich, and that rather than raising VAT, a far better option would have been to have raised the standard rate of income tax from its current low level.
I have written to Bob Russell to congratulate him for his opposition to this regressive feature of Osborne's budget, and encourage him to vote against it.
Everybody knows that VAT affects the poor more than the rich, and that rather than raising VAT, a far better option would have been to have raised the standard rate of income tax from its current low level. I have written to Bob Russell to congratulate him for his opposition to this regressive feature of Osborne's budget, and encourage him to vote against it. Boris
  • Score: 0

6:55am Wed 23 Jun 10

TAGilbert says...

Well done Bob! Extra VAT is a highly regressive way of paying back the deficit, since the poorest fifth of the population pays about 12% of their disposable income in VAT, while the richest fifth pays about 4 or 5%. There are some good things in this budget, which would not have been there but for the Coalition, but they are dwarfed by this VAT rise. It would be interesting to see how many Lib Dem MPs abstain or vote in favour of an amendment opposing the VAT rise, and proposing a penny on income tax instead. And how many Lib Dem Conference Reps in September.....
Well done Bob! Extra VAT is a highly regressive way of paying back the deficit, since the poorest fifth of the population pays about 12% of their disposable income in VAT, while the richest fifth pays about 4 or 5%. There are some good things in this budget, which would not have been there but for the Coalition, but they are dwarfed by this VAT rise. It would be interesting to see how many Lib Dem MPs abstain or vote in favour of an amendment opposing the VAT rise, and proposing a penny on income tax instead. And how many Lib Dem Conference Reps in September..... TAGilbert
  • Score: 0

7:04am Wed 23 Jun 10

Taj says...

Forget about political arguments both Labour and the previous Conservative governments have played their part in messing up our Country.
It was not the public sector or the working classes that created the recession It was the rich in the private sector ,the get rich quick brigade and banks ,this is where the blame should be placed and it should be them that pay the price not decent hard working people.
Lib Dem supporters have been betrayed by their party by jumping into bed with any party and I for one will not vote for any party that goes into a coaliton just to get a few seats in Parliment and betray their supporters .
For those of you that hammer the public sector you might like to know they have been having pay freezes and delayed payments for several years now.
The budget is going to allow pay rises for the thousands of public sector workers who are paid less than £21k,so much for the press who
delighted in telling the world how well paid and what wonderful pensions the public sector had.
Like him or not Bob is right and VAT is a tax that will punish those that can least afford it.
All we can do now is either put up and pay up or wait for the next election
Forget about political arguments both Labour and the previous Conservative governments have played their part in messing up our Country. It was not the public sector or the working classes that created the recession It was the rich in the private sector ,the get rich quick brigade and banks ,this is where the blame should be placed and it should be them that pay the price not decent hard working people. Lib Dem supporters have been betrayed by their party by jumping into bed with any party and I for one will not vote for any party that goes into a coaliton just to get a few seats in Parliment and betray their supporters . For those of you that hammer the public sector you might like to know they have been having pay freezes and delayed payments for several years now. The budget is going to allow pay rises for the thousands of public sector workers who are paid less than £21k,so much for the press who delighted in telling the world how well paid and what wonderful pensions the public sector had. Like him or not Bob is right and VAT is a tax that will punish those that can least afford it. All we can do now is either put up and pay up or wait for the next election Taj
  • Score: 0

8:13am Wed 23 Jun 10

Say It As It Is OK? says...

COLCHESTER MP Bob Russell has revealed he may oppose the Budget after increases in VAT.

The optimum word being may!

Of course he will follow the whip! and that means he will vote with the government.
COLCHESTER MP Bob Russell has revealed he may oppose the Budget after increases in VAT. The optimum word being may! Of course he will follow the whip! and that means he will vote with the government. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 0

9:57am Wed 23 Jun 10

itsgary says...

Nice one! MP Bob Russell has shown his true colours, he is New Labour in disguise (ex SDP), to raise VAT is a fair tax so benefit takers will have to pay more, people whom work have got tax allowances up by £100 this more than allows for it.Come on this government is what this country has been waiting for, pity Cameron cant run the England football team!!!!!
Nice one! MP Bob Russell has shown his true colours, he is New Labour in disguise (ex SDP), to raise VAT is a fair tax so benefit takers will have to pay more, people whom work have got tax allowances up by £100 this more than allows for it.Come on this government is what this country has been waiting for, pity Cameron cant run the England football team!!!!! itsgary
  • Score: 0

10:23am Wed 23 Jun 10

love Dr says...

Bob you may oppose i dont think so, what good have you done in colchester.You didnt support the Vaf what did you do to stop that thing.Maybe be with all the job cuts you should be first out.........
Bob you may oppose i dont think so, what good have you done in colchester.You didnt support the Vaf what did you do to stop that thing.Maybe be with all the job cuts you should be first out......... love Dr
  • Score: 0

10:42am Wed 23 Jun 10

25414nora says...

Enjoy your Plush office suite's, your personal secretaries, and your ministerial cars, Bob Russel. You will never con us again.
Enjoy your Plush office suite's, your personal secretaries, and your ministerial cars, Bob Russel. You will never con us again. 25414nora
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Wed 23 Jun 10

Boris says...

Nora, if you live in his constituency, write to Bob Russell and say you would like to be his guest for a day or half day at the House of Commons. My daughter and I went about 3 years ago and he said he would be happy to receive more people. After you have done that, you can pontificate about the luxurious lifestyle of a backbench MP.
Nora, if you live in his constituency, write to Bob Russell and say you would like to be his guest for a day or half day at the House of Commons. My daughter and I went about 3 years ago and he said he would be happy to receive more people. After you have done that, you can pontificate about the luxurious lifestyle of a backbench MP. Boris
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Wed 23 Jun 10

crosby says...

VAT is a very good and fair way of raising revenue. The more you spend the more you pay and clearly the richer you are the more you buy. The only poor people badly affected are those who spend the little they have on things they don't need such as ciggies, alcohol, gambling, plasma screen TVs and other luxury goods.
VAT is a very good and fair way of raising revenue. The more you spend the more you pay and clearly the richer you are the more you buy. The only poor people badly affected are those who spend the little they have on things they don't need such as ciggies, alcohol, gambling, plasma screen TVs and other luxury goods. crosby
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Wed 23 Jun 10

RB, Lexden says...

What we maybe witnessing here is Bob Russell moving into "protect my back" mode,as he doesn't wish to be blamed or criticised for the necessary cuts and tax rises the Coalition must implement after Labour's disastrous thirteen year tax and squander reign,which was confirmed when former Treasury Secretary Liam Byrne said that" there is no money left."This is particularly embarrassing for ex Labour stalwart,Mr Russell,64,because on the very day these cuts and tax rises were announced we also discovered that MPs' expenses will be exempted from tax and that MPs will also continue to avoid tax on their second home allowance.This means that £1200 a week Mr Russell will be spared the financial hardship facing some of his poorest constituents.If Mr Russell were genuinely concerned about the plight of the poor,he could make a small,but significant gesture by giving up swanning around first class at our expense and not billing hard-pressed taxpayers for things like new boilers,which he can easily afford to buy himself .Let's hope the Coalition can soon find a suitable job for Mr Russell.What about ambassador to North Korea?.
What we maybe witnessing here is Bob Russell moving into "protect my back" mode,as he doesn't wish to be blamed or criticised for the necessary cuts and tax rises the Coalition must implement after Labour's disastrous thirteen year tax and squander reign,which was confirmed when former Treasury Secretary Liam Byrne said that" there is no money left."This is particularly embarrassing for ex Labour stalwart,Mr Russell,64,because on the very day these cuts and tax rises were announced we also discovered that MPs' expenses will be exempted from tax and that MPs will also continue to avoid tax on their second home allowance.This means that £1200 a week Mr Russell will be spared the financial hardship facing some of his poorest constituents.If Mr Russell were genuinely concerned about the plight of the poor,he could make a small,but significant gesture by giving up swanning around first class at our expense and not billing hard-pressed taxpayers for things like new boilers,which he can easily afford to buy himself .Let's hope the Coalition can soon find a suitable job for Mr Russell.What about ambassador to North Korea?. RB, Lexden
  • Score: 0

8:48pm Wed 23 Jun 10

haggydaggy says...

I agree with Crosby's comments, the people in this country need to stop spending money they have not got! Bob Russell should get his own expenses etc in order before mouthing off to others!
I agree with Crosby's comments, the people in this country need to stop spending money they have not got! Bob Russell should get his own expenses etc in order before mouthing off to others! haggydaggy
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Sun 27 Jun 10

BillBill says...

Anna Key wrote:
Today's budget is nothing less than a declaration of war - a declaration of the Bosses class war against the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. Huge price rises through VAT for a low paid public sector worker like me, and a pay freeze. And a very real fear I was lose my job and have to live on benefits, which I know only too well is not enough to survive on as it is. Yet the middle classes have just been on the BBC 10.00 news declaring their delight. Promising words Bob, but will their be deeds?
Oh Lordy..... "A declaration of war on poorly paid public servants."
I work in the private sector and like most people in it, I haven't had a pay freeze for two years. My pension contributions have skyrocketed while the final salary element has disappeared - unlike Col Council's pension fund which is 50m in the red and the taxpayers are going to have to bail it out. In most areas salaries in the public sector, compared to the private sector, are ridiculously inflated. The public sector has more holidays, more lieiu time and poor performance is routinely tolerated. I have worked in both and let me tell you, the public sector is savagely ready for the sort of cuts the rest of us have had to endure for years. If this is a "war" on the public sector, where do i sign up?
[quote][p][bold]Anna Key[/bold] wrote: Today's budget is nothing less than a declaration of war - a declaration of the Bosses class war against the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. Huge price rises through VAT for a low paid public sector worker like me, and a pay freeze. And a very real fear I was lose my job and have to live on benefits, which I know only too well is not enough to survive on as it is. Yet the middle classes have just been on the BBC 10.00 news declaring their delight. Promising words Bob, but will their be deeds?[/p][/quote]Oh Lordy..... "A declaration of war on poorly paid public servants." I work in the private sector and like most people in it, I haven't had a pay freeze for two years. My pension contributions have skyrocketed while the final salary element has disappeared - unlike Col Council's pension fund which is 50m in the red and the taxpayers are going to have to bail it out. In most areas salaries in the public sector, compared to the private sector, are ridiculously inflated. The public sector has more holidays, more lieiu time and poor performance is routinely tolerated. I have worked in both and let me tell you, the public sector is savagely ready for the sort of cuts the rest of us have had to endure for years. If this is a "war" on the public sector, where do i sign up? BillBill
  • Score: 0

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