Sir Stuart Rose's reasoning was completely wrong-headed on the Today programme this morning.
Sir Stuart Rose has nailed his colours (sailor-stripe navy and white, to judge by summer at M&S) to the mast: he told the Today programme that the Government shouldn't put up National Insurance, but he's happy with a rise in VAT. His reasoning was completely wrong-headed.
He said that NI punished all workers, but VAT could be avoided by not buying VATable items. You know, like biscuits or fruit juice or adult clothes or diaries or stationery. VAT hits the poor more than the rich – click here to read a paper from the Institute of Fiscal Studies to see the truth of this – and Sir Stuart should not be encouraging such a regressive move.
We are in a financial crater, and raising VAT will hit those who can least afford it. Unless, of course, what Sir Stuart meant to say was that we should only increase VAT on luxury goods, where it would be much more targeted…