Mysterious Chinese Skeletons Found In An Ancient Cemetery In England Could Rewrite Roman History

When children spend time in the pool, they often play a game of Marco Polo. “It” closes their eyes, cries out “Marco”, and tries to hear all the other players answering “Polo” to reveal themselves. With a lunge in the right direction, “It” tags another player and the game continues.

It’s amazing that children still play a game still that’s named after an Italian explorer who lived over 700 years ago. It’s really a testament to the impact Marco Polo had when he revealed the mysteries of China to Europe. It’s also probably a rather cheeky reference to some people’s suspicions that Marco Polo really had no clue where he was going and was simply flailing about.

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But what’s even more remarkable than Marco Polo introducing China to Europe seven centuries ago, is that China might have introduced itself to Europe even longer before that, almost two millennia ago. At least, that’s what a fascinating discovery in a place you’d least expect seems to show…

Analysis of skeletons found in a Roman cemetery in south London (pictured) have revealed that two of the people buried there between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD had Asian ancestry and were possibly from China. It provides new evidence of the links between the empires 
Analysis of skeletons found in a Roman cemetery in south London (pictured) have revealed that two of the people buried there between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD had Asian ancestry and were possibly from China. It provides new evidence of the links between the empires

China and Rome were two powerful, ancient empires separated by more than 5,000 miles of imposing mountain ranges, barren desert and exposed steppe grasslands. Yet a collection of seemingly unremarkable bones discovered in a Roman cemetery in London has provided new insights into the links between the Roman Empire and Imperial China.

Analysis has revealed that two skeletons dating from between the 2nd and 4th Century AD unearthed at the site in the city’s Southwark area may have been Chinese.

The remains were found at a Roman cemetery on Lant Street in Southwark (shown on map), which was once a suburb of the Roman settlement of Londinium
The remains were found at a Roman cemetery on Lant Street in Southwark (shown on map), which was once a suburb of the Roman settlement of Londinium

The findings promise to rewrite the history of the Romans as it suggests these two great empires had far greater connections than previously believed.

While it is known that there was extensive trade between China and ancient Rome along what became known as the Silk Road, the two empires are thought to have viewed each other warily. Accounts from the time suggest the Chinese were curious about the ‘tall and virtuous’ people of Rome, while the Romans found their rivals in the east mysterious but valued their silk cloth.

Despite the trade between the empires, however, only one person of Asian ancestry has ever been found on sites dating back to the Roman Empire – an adult man unearthed at Vagnari in Italy. But now archaeologists excavating an ancient Roman cemetery in modern-day London have uncovered two more individuals of Asian ancestry, buried among the remains of other citizens of ancient Londinium.

The cemetery was for ordinary citizens, which seems to say that these two people were living and working in the city as ordinary citizens, not as visiting diplomats. And they weren’t treated as outsiders because they were buried alongside Roman citizens.

Londinium was the centre of the Roman empire in Britain, but across the river to its south was a small suburban area that would later become Southwark

According to the Times, while experts have not been able to identify their exact origins, it is likely these people had come from China. Writing in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Dr Rebecca Redfern, an archaeologist at the Museum of London, said how they ended up there is a mystery.

She and her colleagues said: ‘The expansion of the Roman Empire across most of western Europe and the Mediterranean, led to the assimilation and movement of many ethnically and geographically diverse communities.

‘Its power and wealth meant that it also had trade connections for raw materials and products, such as silk throughout Europe, Africa and also to the East, including India and China.

‘Many people traveled, often vast distances, for trade or because of their occupation, for example in the military, or their social status, for example if they were enslaved.’

Archaeologists unearthed around 22 skeletons at the site in Lant Street, Southwark (pictured)
Archaeologists unearthed around 22 skeletons at the site in Lant Street, Southwark (pictured)
Researchers examined the morphology of the skulls (pictured) found in the cemetery to work out their ancestry while isotope analysis of the teeth revealed details about their diet and where they grew up
Researchers examined the morphology of the skulls (pictured) found in the cemetery to work out their ancestry while isotope analysis of the teeth revealed details about their diet and where they grew up

At the time when the people are thought to have lived, the Roman Empire was at its peak before it split into two halves. China was in the hands of the Han Dynasty, considered to be the most prolific period of cultural and technological advance in the ancient empire.

Writing in the journal, Dr Redfern said: ‘It may well be that these individuals were themselves or were descended from enslaved people originating from Asia, as there were slave-trade connections between India and China, and India and Rome.’

This discovery also raises the intriguing idea that ancient London was more cosmopolitan, and had many immigrants, much, much longer before anyone imagined. Do you think it’s possible that London was a cultural melting pot that long ago?

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Archaeologist Rebecca Redfern (pictured right) and her colleagues say Londinium may have had a far more flourishing community of immigrants than previously believed. Among the skeletons were those from north Africa, including a young girl (pictured left)

Read More: A meeting of two ancient empires: How did two Chinese skeletons find their way into a Roman cemetery in London?

That’s Where Your Council Tax Goes – Over 2000 Council Employees Now On More Than £100,000 A Year

Nice work if you can get it. According to the ‘Town Hall Rich List’ compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, at least 2,314 staff were taking home a six figure pay packet in 2015/16. That’s 89 more than last year.

539 public servants were even more richly rewarded, earning a whopping £150,000 a year, up 53 on the previous year.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the group, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof.

“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

Sunderland City Council chief Dr Dave Smith earned the most
Sunderland City Council chief Dr Dave Smith earned the most

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year.

“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raises serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”

Southwark Council topped the list, with 44 of its staff on a six figures salary (25 more than last year). However it has stiff competition for next year as 68 other councils have at least 10 employees earning over £100,000.

Dave Smith, Sunderland City Council’s chief executive, won the prize for the local government employee with the biggest pay packet, who took home a whopping £625,570, which included a pay-off of £185,470 and pension contributions totalling £331,414.

According to the report, in total Sunderland spent £1,676,023 on just three employees. London was unsurprisingly the area with the largest number of employees earning more than £100,000, at 450. The South East came a distant second, with 368.

Spare a thought for Wales where just 102 employees took home six-figures sums, the smallest regional figure.
The group added that their figure of 2,314 was “likely to be an understatement” because of inconsistencies in how councils presented the data.

Finland Is Named As The World’s Safest Country — With The UK And USA Ranking Behind Zimbabwe

Every two years the World Economic Forum presents a report about which countries are ranked in certain categories.

This year they ranked some 136 countries with regards to the safety for tourists in each country. The report looks at how each country exposes tourists to danger, and how business is affected by violence and terrorism.

This year Finland came in at the top spot, followed by The United Arab Emirates, and Iceland.

Finland has been named the safest country in the world for holidaymakers to visit in an influential new report
Finland has been named the safest country in the world for holidaymakers to visit in an influential new report

Very disturbing was the revelation that the UK and the USA came in at 78th and 84th place, well below that of Zimbabwe who came in at 60th place.

Oman, Hong Kong, Singapore, Norway, Switzerland, Rwanda and Qatar all finished in the top ten for safety.

The report does not take into account victims of petty crime. The least safe place in the world was Columbia, with Yemen and El Salvador just above it.

The safety category of The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 from the World Economic Forum rated 136 countries
The safety category of The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 from the World Economic Forum rated 136 countries

Egypt ranked as 130, while surprisingly, Venezuela took 131st place. Right below that came Nigeria and Pakistan in 132 and 133.

This year Spain found herself at the very top of the list for being the world’s most tourist friendly country. This is down to the cultural and natural offerings, combined with its top tourism infrastructure. Spain also scored at the top because of the amount and ease for airline travel to and from the country, which has increased dramatically over the last two years.

Even though France has been the victim of terrorist attacks recently, they came in second place with Germany in 3rd place. Japan jumped up from 9th to 4th place, followed by the UK who retained the 5th position. The USA took 6th place, followed by Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland to round out the top ten most friendly places for tourists.

While the UK maintained its fifth position overall, it only scored 78th in the safety and security section of the report
While the UK maintained its fifth position overall, it only scored 78th in the safety and security section of the report

The scores are handed out according to categories such as hygiene, safety and security, and information technology. The average score is then worked out for each country.

Europe had the strongest travel incentives, with 1.2 billion tourists visiting there last year. This huge amount is mostly due to good hygiene, good health care, cultural richness and safety.

Spain has been crowned the world’s most tourist-friendly country thanks to its cultural and natural offerings, along with its top tourism infrastructure and airline connectivity
Spain has been crowned the world’s most tourist-friendly country thanks to its cultural and natural offerings, along with its top tourism infrastructure and airline connectivity

Japan was the most improved country, with Azerbaijan and Tajikistan following her in going up positions. Japan’s increase is due to the diverse cultural appeal, and also the ease for business travel.

At the bottom of the overall report was Yemen, followed by Chad, Burundi and the Congo.

The report noted that there would be a boom in outbound travel from Africa, the Middle East and Asia in the coming decade.

Source: Daily Mail

101-Year-Old Brings Home Four Gold Medals At The World Masters Games

The week began in a very good way for Man Kaur. She won the gold medal in the 100 metres at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. She did this in 1:14. While this may not seem that fast, you should remember that she is 101 years old! Over the week of events she also took the gold in the 200 meters, shot put and javelin!

“I enjoyed it and am very, very happy,” she said. “I’m going to run again: I’m not going to give up. I will participate, there’s no full stop.”

It isn’t even the winning that is so important to Man, it is the feeling that she is able to participate. Her running career started at the age of 93, when son Gurdev Singh suggested that Man join him in running. Since then, there has been no holding her back. Man says that without any health problems, there was no reason at all why she could not start to run with her son.

Training in their hometown of Chandigarh, in India, Man’s routine is to run the 50 meter print 5 fives, interspersed with 100 and 200 meter sprints every other day. If you don’t find her running, you will find her in the gym, working out.

Nutrition plays a very important part of Man’s day, with wheat grass juice and kefir being a part of her everyday diet. This was part of her mother’s strict diet also.

Man says that she was really pleased at winning the medals, even though she was the only participant in the race. She intends to come back and compete at the Master’s Games in Japan in 2020.

“I feel really good winning all four gold medals, and this is not it, I will come back and compete again at the Master Games 2020 in Japan,” Man shared.

Source: Runner’s World

Single Mom Arrested And Kids Were Taken After She Began Homeschooling Them

Kiarre Harris felt that the district was failing her kids in their education, and decided to homeschool them. Kiarre thought that she had done all the right paperwork, and that her kids had been officially un-enrolled from school. The school acknowledged that they had received Kiarre’s intention in writing. Kiarre thought that she had done everything correctly.

“I felt that the district was failing my children,” she said, “and that’s when I made the decision to homeschool.”

“I spoke directly to the homeschool coordinator and she told me from this point on my children were officially un-enrolled from school,” Harris said.

Soon after that Kiarre received a very disturbing call from Child Protection Services asking why her kids were not in school. She offered to show them the official letter from the school.

“I told them that my kids were homeschooled now and that I could furnish the documents if they need to see them,” Harris shared.

Image source: WKBW-TV video screen cap

Less than one month later the Police and CPS confronted Kiarre with a court order to take her children away from her and place them in foster care. Not only that, when Kiarre refused to give them up, she was arrested on charges of neglect. Kiarre refused to give up her kids because no court order was shown to her after she asked to see one.

Councilman Ulysees O. Wingo Sr made it known to the Family Court that her children should be returned immediately , adding that it was totally unacceptable for anyone to be arrested for ‘educational neglect’. Someone had messed up very badly, and that person should be made to face the music.

“Someone, somewhere messed up,” Wingo said at a Buffalo Common Council meeting Tuesday afternoon, “and that someone needs to face the music.”

Image source: WKBW-TV video screen cap

The councilman made a strong point of saying that a family had been broken up, entirely due to someone’s negligence. Somewhere the correct paperwork had been misplaced and as a result, the family was pulled apart. The school had nor reached out to Kiarre to communicate with her and make sure she was doing things correctly.

“Did anyone from the school reach out to the mother? We don’t know,” he added.

“A family was broken up because of someone’s negligence … somewhere along the line paperwork was not submitted which resulted in trauma for a family in the City of Buffalo,” Wingo said.

For homeschooling to be accepted, the parent must have full custody of the children, which Kiarre claims she had until she was arrested. Individual education plans must also have been submitted, which Kiarre says she did. In a video which she posted on a social media platform, Kiarre says that she submitted the plans. The video clip contains some graphic language.


The case has now been forwarded to the Common Council’s Education Committee who will decide what happens next. Kiarre is hoping to be released very soon and reunited with her kids, where she plans to continue homeschooling them.

Source: The Blaze

Cambridge Student Sets £20 On Fire In Front Of Freezing Homeless Person In Harsh Stunt

A University of Cambridge student was captured on film as he set hire to a £20 note in order to taunt a homeless man. Dressed in an outfit that included tails and a bow tie, the top Tory student tried to light the money on fire in front of the freezing man. A surprised bystander recorded the video and posted it online via social media site Snapchat.

The passerby filming the video alternated between recording the student and the man, as the student attempted to burn the banknote. In the clip, the student said, “Some homeless shelter” just before the filming ended. Reportedly, the incident occurred on February 2nd, sometime in the early morning.

Ronald Coyne was named as the student in the video by the Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA). Coyne had been their communications officer, but was asked to step down and leave the group after the release of the video.

Ronald Coyne (pictured) a first-year law student at Pembroke College, was dressed in a bow tie and tails when he taunted a rough sleeper
Ronald Coyne (pictured) a first-year law student at Pembroke College, was dressed in a bow tie and tails when he taunted a rough sleeper

A spokesman for CUCA called the actions of Coyne “disgusting and abhorrent”.

The spokesman also said, “The CUCA committee became aware of serious allegations against Ronald Coyne late last week concerning his private behavior.

“There is no room for people who behave like that in our Association, any other University Association, or frankly our University.

“This disgusting and abhorrent behavior occurred completely independently of CUCA, and did not take place before or after any CUCA event.”

“His resignation was immediately demanded and we determined the appropriate response to be to permanently revoke his membership and bar him from all future events, which we did on Saturday.”

The video shows a homeless man (pictured) standing in Bridge Street in Cambridge city centre clutching what appears to be a sleeping bag
The video shows a homeless man (pictured) standing in Bridge Street in Cambridge city centre clutching what appears to be a sleeping bag
Ronald Coyne, wearing a white bow tie and tails, appears to attempt to burn a £20 note in front of the homeless man
Ronald Coyne, wearing a white bow tie and tails, appears to attempt to burn a £20 note in front of the homeless man

Ken Clarke, the former cabinet minister, has previously been chairman of the CUCA. The group’s Honorary Vice Presidents include Andrew Mitchell, the former chief whip, and Lord Speaker Lord Fowler.

Historian Andrew Roberts, who wrote ‘Napoleon the Great’, is the current Honorary President of CUCA.

Burning a £50 banknote to taunt the homeless is an act that some suspect may be an intuition ritual of the infamous Bullingdon club in Oxford.

A Cambridge University spokesman said: ‘The University is committed to respecting the rights and dignity of all members of our community.

‘We expect our students to treat others with respect, courtesy and consideration at all times, and the University takes allegations of unacceptable behaviour very seriously.

‘We do not comment on individual cases.’

Get Inside This Mysterious Abandoned 18th Century Home With A Cannon In The Living Room

If you love the idea of time capsules, you can’t miss this exciting post by Sean Morrison on the Mirror about a mysterious abandoned house that has practically been frozen in time. It even has an 18th century-style cannon in its living room!

There’s an abandoned home in France that’s filled with some of the most amazing things. Nobody seems to know how long the home has been abandoned, but it’s like a time capsule. At some point the home belonged to an unknown war fanatic, so it has lots of fantastic war memorabilia, such as a Union Jack flag, the United States flag and even an 18th century-style cannon in the living room.

Recently, amateur Parisian photographer, Florian Michaud, entered the derelict home and took some beautiful photographs. They include a dusty billiards table, a mural of people in French renaissance dress and a luxury bedroom. The house is an absolutely fantastic find.

Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
Eerie images reveal the time capsule home that has been left completely untouched since it was abandoned (Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
A huge cannon is the centre piece in the grand living room (Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
A mural on a wall depicts people in French renaissance dress (Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)

The amateur Parisian photographer, who took these photos, shares:

“The images radiate with an aura of unusual and magic that are brought about the vision of nature taking over decomposition.”

“This battle between life and death is what I’m aiming to capture in my photo shoots.”

“I fell in love with this kind of scenery and wanted to keep forever what I saw and felt.”

“I am especially fascinated by places where everything’s still standing, as if inhabitants simply vanished.”

Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
(Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
(Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
(Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
(Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
(Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
(Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)
Mystery abandoned home boasts a huge cannon as a centre piece in the living room that once belonged to a now unknown war fanatic
(Photo: Florian Michaud/Mediadrumworld)

“There’s a long stage of investigation in my urban explorations before I can take pictures.”

“Most of the time, field survey and spotting yield nothing because the location has turned out to be uninteresting.”

“Eventually, as I am very persistent, I end up finding a place that’s been forgotten yet became magical and off-beat.”

“It vibrates with something powerful and out of the ordinary that triggers in me an overwhelming flow of creative ideas and awakens an urge to simply catch the moment.”

Source: Mirror

Is Running The Best Type Of Exercise?

The question is often asked as to what is the best exercise for a person? The answers vary from person to person, depending on who you speak to. One thing is certain – running factors into this equation.

Taken from the Journal of Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, we find that runners live on average three years longer than non runners. Even if you drink, smoke and are overweight, if you run you will reduce the risk of dying early by up to 40{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949}. An hour of running will therefore increase your life expectancy by seven hours.

While running may not be the fountain of youth, so to speak, it has been shown to be more effective than walking, cycling or swimming. Even 5 – 10 minutes a day running will reduce the risk of heart disease, and early deaths in general. This is a whole lot less than the government recommendations which are about 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. Most people – it was found – ignore this as they feel that it is too much.

Another point of view- as far as the best exercise goes – is that the exercise you actually do, is the best one! If you hate an exercise, and never do it, it makes no different whether it is good or bad. Running, however, is thought to be the best for a number of reasons.

Running reduces your risk of dying early by between 25{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} and 40{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949}. Photograph: Adam Hester/Getty Images/Blend Images

You can’t cheat at running! You have to do it, you can’t rely on machinery to help you. It is cheap, and it is easy. Simply put on a decent pair of running shoes and head out of the door.

Even jogging counts as ‘moderate exercise’ so even if you are just starting and can’t go much faster, that’s okay, it all counts.

According to Angelique Brellenthin of Iowa State University, it would take 105 minutes of walking to achieve the same benefits as a 25 minute run. Non runners are also twice as likely to die from strokes and sudden heart attacks.

One argument that is often brought up is that people who suffer from knee pain cannot run. It is possible to reduce knee pain by running on soft surfaces, avoiding hills, doing exercises to strengthen the knee muscles, and wearing good quality running shoes. There is no evidence, says Brellenthin, that running increases the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee.

As with any exercise, running should be built up slowly so as not to injure yourself. Do not be tempted to try a marathon before you are ready! Brellenthin goes on to say that you only need 30 – 60 minutes a week to start to see the results, and for it to be beneficial for your body.

Source: The Guardian

A Vegan Woman Faces 10 Years In Prison For Giving Pigs Water On Hot Day

This unbelievable article is about a kind-hearted vegan who gave a pig some water while it was on route to be slaughtered. Now she faces up to ten years in prison for her good deed!

Anita Krajnc, 48 faces up to ten years in prison for giving water to a thirsty pig heading to the slaughter on a hot summer day.  

Krajnc and a fellow protester tried to give the pigs some water that they clearly needed, when the tractor-trailer carrying them was stopped at a traffic light to the Fearmans Pork processing facility, about 45 miles south-west of Toronto.

A video of the incident shows the driver climbing from the vehicle to confront Krajnc.

“Jesus said, ‘If they are thirsty, give them water,’” she told him.

“You know what? These are not humans, you dumb frickin’ broad,” the  driver angrily responded to her.

The lorry driver threatened to call the police then asked: “What you got in that water?”

When she replied that it was just water, he said: “How do I know?”

The hog farmer Eric Van Boekel, who owned the pigs, filed a police complaint the next day. Krajnc was charged with criminal mischief and originally faced up to ten years in prison.

“It’s an outrage. It’s insane to charge somebody with criminal mischief for doing that,” Krajnc told the Guardian after the pre-trial hearing in November, 2015.

pig3 Vegan Gives Pigs On Way To Slaughterhouse Water, Faces 10 Years In Prison

“Offering water to a thirsty pig is an act of compassion. It is not only a right, but a duty we all share. Causing the pigs to suffer in the first place is what is wrong. I face these criminal charges with dignity, knowing that truth and justice are on my side,” she added.

The pigs’ owner, Van Boekel, said his pigs are treated ethically and in accordance with all standards and regulations. He told the Guardian that he was concerned for both the safety of his product and that of the animal rights protesters, who sometimes crowd near the large transport vehicles when they are stopped in traffic.

“We don’t have a fight with the protesters per se,” he said.

“It’s a free country. Their views – we don’t agree – but they have a right to their opinion as we do ours. If they’d like to protest in a safe and reasonable manner, they’re afforded those rights.”

Krajnc was charged with criminal mischief and originally faced up to ten years in prison. But last December the Crown announced it intended to proceed by summary conviction, which would carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.

Krajnc’s legal team plan to bring virtual reality headsets to screen footage from inside a factory farm and slaughterhouse, and have lined up a series of expert witnesses to argue the health and environmental merits of veganism.

Read More: 

Tory VAT Hike Will Cost The Average Family £2,500 – And Poor Will Be Hit Hardest

Every Tory Prime Minister has increased VAT! This dates way back to 1973 when it was first introduced by Ted Heath. It seems that there may be yet another VAT increase on the cards.

The Prime Minister and her ministers seem to have avoided the question on the increase after Chancellor Philip Hammond mentioned it. He is considering a 2.5{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} flat rate increase, which will cost a two child family £450 a year.

It seems that this tax bombshell will come into effect if the Tories are re-elected in June. On the other hand, it appears that there will be a £70 billion tax cut for corporations and the higher income bracket.

Philip Hammond has said that he wants ‘flexibility’ on the issue (Photo: PA)

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon backed the plan to forget about the promise made by the party to not increase VAT, National Insurance contributions and Income Tax.

A VAT rise would primarily hit pensioners the worst. These people have worked all their lives and suffered years of real pay cuts. The higher income group will benefit with their tax relief.

A woman looks out from a residential development in the London borough of Tower Hamlets
Margaret Thatcher almost doubled VAT when she first took office (Photo: Getty Images)

“Everyone knows that VAT is the tax Tory Chancellors can’t resist hiking up. It’s the tax bombshell that the Tories are planning for low and middle earners if they are re-elected in June,” Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said.

“A Tory VAT rise would clobber pensioners, the worst-off and working people who have suffered years of real pay cuts, while the Tories’ super-rich mates and corporations enjoy tax giveaways of £70billion,” assistant general secretary Steve Turner said.

John Major took the tax rate up further to 17.5{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} (Photo: Getty Images)

At times it appears that the party does not care if it hurts the poor, as long as the high earners do not suffer. This Prime Minister is no different than the last one, with the same Tory agenda.

“A Tory government will hammer families with a VAT rise like every Tory PM has done since 1973,” Labour MP Wes Streeting, a member of the Commons treasury committee added.

“They don’t care that it clobbers the poorest hardest, that it hits people on middle incomes struggling to make ends meet, so long as they can keep on cutting taxes for the very wealthiest.”

“Theresa May is the same old Tory Prime Minister with the same old Tory agenda.”

Elderly man who can only afford to heat himself with one bar of the electric fire UK
David Cameron claimed he would not increase the rate of VAT – before taking it up to 20{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} (Photo: Rex)

VAT was first introduced at a flat rate of 10{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949}, it was then cut to 8{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} by Labour, but it increased right up to 15{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} when Margaret Thatcher came into office.

Under John Major it rose again to 17.5{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949}, with yet another increase under David Cameron to 20{a30e0c09ff70771d4c2559ca452283db427b609927687ae1d17157c286cad949} in 2011, despite all his promises that it would not be increased.

The Tory plans prove they’re still a party run for the rich (Photo: PA)

This increase would cost families at least £2,250 over the next five year Parliament– with inflation meaning the true figure is likely to be even higher, if it comes into force.

It seems that the best thing to do is to wait for the manifesto, which will show what the Tories plan to do next. It looks like it will be the hard working Brits who will ultimately pay for the hard Brexit. It would be good to know exactly what the public can expect before the next election.

Cats play in an alley between terraced houses in the Eastwood area of Rotherham
Every Tory Prime Minister has raised VAT since 1973 (Photo: Getty Images)

“He doesn’t want too many targets inside the manifesto that are too prescriptive, that don’t allow you, as the situation develops over the lifetime of the Parliament, the flexibility,” Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon backs Mr Hammond’s plan.

“The Tories are plotting a tax bombshell on hard-working Brits to pay for their hard Brexit,” Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland said.

“Hammond must come clean on what taxes he plans to raise before the election.”