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National politics

First stealth tax rise happened at 6pm

The first tax rise to pay for Brown’s binge has already occured. According to the Pre-Budget Report:

Maintaining high levels of tax on tobacco helps to reduce overall tobacco consumption. Tobacco duties will, therefore, be increased from 6pm on 24 November to ensure that the overall level of taxation on tobacco remains broadly unchanged following the reduction in VAT to 15 per cent. The increase in duty will be maintained when the VAT rate is returned to 17.5 per cent in January 2010.

So smokers will have to pay extra this week for their fags then the fall in VAT will come into force on 1st December to take the price down again to where it is today. Finally, on 1st January 2010 the 2.5% on VAT goes back on and the duty rise stays in place.