From Cato, a note from Tax Notes International on rising worldwide Value Added Taxes:
In a stark warning to all countries facing mounting debt, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are all imposing further VAT increases to help shore up their faltering finances. They join countries such as Ireland and Hungary that have been forced into recent crisis VAT increases, and a number of Western countries seem certain to follow. This includes the U.K., which may be looking at a 20 percent VAT within the next two years.
At least one reason for their popularity must be because governments can raise them without causing a stir. They’re more palatable than an income tax hike.