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Britain braced for higher Labour taxes

Shadow Chancellor Oliver Letwin has sounded a seasonal tax alert after new figures revealed the worst monthly Government borrowing since records began.

The prospect of Chancellor Gordon Brown having to pump up tax levies to pay for his massive spending commitments intensified when official statistics showed that public sector borrowing reached 9.4 billion in November, some 2.5 billion more than the same period last year, and way over City expectations of 7.5 billion.

Experts described the imbalance as "horrible", while analysts predicted that tax rates would have to leap by the equivalent of 3p in the to finance the Chancellor's widening "black hole" between Whitehall's income and expenditure.

Commenting on the situation Mr Letwin said: "The interesting point about these latest public finance figures is that Government current spending growth has accelerated to 7.3 per cent. So far, the Chancellor's claims about reducing bloated bureaucracy have proved to be all talk. Spending on bureaucracy is rising faster and faster."

He told "We have already had 66 stealth tax rises under Labour. If they win a third election it is now almost beyond doubt that there will be much more to come and that millions of people will feel the pinch."

Mr Letwin added: "All this makes a mockery of Tony Blair's claim that he had no plans to raise taxes."

Letwin, Oliver

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