There will be a parliamentary vote on the planned VAT rise, it is understood, following complaints from the Labour party that discussion would be limited.

Government business managers were said to have intended to restrict the matter to the committee stage of discussion of the Finance Bill, in breach of convention.

However after complaints from Shadow Chief Whip Nick Brown there has been a change of heart and there will now be a debate and vote on the VAT clauses later this month, according to the London Evening Standard.

VAT is planned to increase from 17.5% to 20% on January 4 next year, following last week’s emergency Budget.

The decision is unwelcome to retailers who fear it may hit performance, although some sales are likely to be pulled forward as a result.

Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman, who will launch a campaign against the VAT rise tonight, said: “We were amazed that the Government wanted to keep this in committee and not on the floor of the House.

“They ran into a brick wall in the shape of Nick Brown. I hope this vote is the high noon for the VAT rise.”

However, a Treasury source dismissed the suggestion that the debate was a result of Labour’s intervention. He said: “The Government would never have expected to decide something like that in committee. It would always have gone to a committee of the full House.”

Labour will hope to win over wavering Lib Dems to back its anti-VAT rise position in the vote.