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Labour drops pledge to cut VAT

Labour leader Ed Miliband confirmed today that he has dropped the party's pledge to cut VAT, claiming the economic circumstances have changed.

Mr Miliband said the policy had been designed for a time when the economy was not growing.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There isn't going to be a cut in VAT, that's not what we are proposing at the moment.

"That's because the economic position has changed. We have always said as recovery took hold our focus would not be on a cut in VAT.

"I think it would have been the right thing to do, it would have been a better approach in getting the deficit down. I would make the point the Government hasn't succeeded in getting the deficit down.

"That's part of the issue we will have to be dealing with."

Mr Miliband said he was still committed to current overall spending totals.

"In 2015/16, we envisage cuts in public spending," he said.

"That's what we've been clear about, by sticking to the Government's day-to-day spending plans. We have said we will make different choices on spending and revenue but sticking to that overall plan."

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