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Can we trust the coalition government?

As the dust begins to settle on George Osborne's first budget under the new coalition government there are concerns that promises made in the run-up to the general election, specifically by the Liberal Democrat party, appear to have fallen by the wayside. If you cast your mind back just a few weeks many remember the Liberal Democrats advertising poster which suggested that the Conservative party was planning to increase VAT to 20%. At the time the Liberal Democrat party was steadfastly against this move, so what has changed?

Whether or not the Conservative party already had plans in place to increase VAT, ahead of election, is open to debate but the truth of the matter is that the UK economy is in dire straits. It would appear, according to the Treasury, that previous economic forecasts by the Labour government were overly optimistic and hence the need to address the budget deficit and national debt sooner rather than later.

Supporters of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats will suggest that this is a move which was effectively taken out of their hands while others will accuse them of hypocrisy in the run-up to the election. Either way, there is no escaping the fact that the UK public and the UK business arena will feel the pain over the next decade.

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