The top rate of VAT has risen from 17.5% to 20% as the government looks to boost tax revenues to cut the UK's debt levels.
The Chancellor defended the decision on the Today programme, saying that VAT was "the least damaging tax rise" available to the coalition.
He told Evan Davis that the move, in combination with the other deficit reduction measures, "will increase employment".
It was, he said, "a tough but necessary step towards our economic recovery".
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