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now stands at 20 per cent.

“We won’t be in­creas­ing VAT,” she told ITV’s Pe­ston in an in­ter­view on Sun­day.

“If you look across what we want to do on taxes, we’ve no plans to in­crease the level of tax, as I say it’s the Con­ser­va­tive Party, we’re a party that be­lieves in lower tax­a­tion.”

But, she re­fused to recom­mit to a 2015 elec­tion prom­ise made by her pre­de­ces­sor David Cameron not to in­crease VAT, in­come tax, or Na­tional In­surance — an em­ploy­ment tax — un­til 2020.

The left­ist op­po­si­tion Labour Party, which has also ruled out rais­ing VAT, said May could not be trusted to hon­our her VAT pledge. Elec­tion spokesman An­drew Gwynne said May posed “a threat to work­ing peo­ple, pen­sion­ers and our pub­lic ser­vices”. Cur­rent value-added

tax in the UK

Polls show May is on course for vic­tory in the elec­tion, al­though three pub­lished late on Sat­ur­day showed her lead had shrunk.

May’s fi­nance min­is­ter Philip Ham­mond has ar­gued that the 2015 tax pledge had lim­ited his abil­ity to man­age the econ­omy.

Bri­tain’s deficit is ex­pected to rise in the 2017/2018 fi­nan­cial year, as one-off fac­tors that helped the gov­ern­ment last year — such as changes in the tim­ing of pay­ments to the EU’s bud­get and the im­pact of changes on div­i­dend tax­a­tion — un­wind. Reuters

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