Ishi, Hiromitsu, “The Japanese Tax System,” Second Edition, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1993

(VATinfo Note:  This book has an extensive chapter on “The Value Added Tax and its Aftermath,” describing the goals, mechanisms, and political considerations.)
“Regardless of the fact that the timing in each country differs, why have countries adopted VAT?  Broadly speaking, there are four reasons:
(1)  The existing turnover tax was not satisfactory,
(2)  Discriminatory border taxes had to be abolished because of a customs union,
(3)  Other taxes, such as income taxes, had to be cut mainly because relevant countries were dissatisfied with their existing tax structure,
(4)  Accumulated fiscal deficits required additional sources of revenue,” p.312
“Generally speaking, in the 1980′s there was a trend among major industrial countries towards switching from a relative reliance on direct taxes to a reliance on indirect taxes:  a broad-based indirect tax was introduced in countries with no VAT, and in a number of European countries where VAT had already been implemented the governments raised the rate of VAT to offset part of the revenue loss from income tax changes.  (Footnote: “A typical example was observed in the UK tax reform of 1979 in which the rate of VAT increased from 8 to 15% in place of reducing income taxes with equal revenues.),” p. 313