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Annie Hayes



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Conservative manifesto omits details of tax cuts


The Conservative Party has published its general election manifesto but has not yet provided further details of the £4bn of tax cuts it has vowed to make in its first Budget.

The party will provide details within the next week of cuts other than the council tax rebates already promised, according to reports. It declared that the way in which a government allocates taxpayers’ money demonstrates its values.

In a section of the manifesto entitled Value for Money and Lower Taxes, the party said: “By going to war on waste and ending ineffective public spending programmes, we will achieve three simple aims.

“First, we will give taxpayers value for money. We will spend the same as Labour would on the NHS, schools, transport and international development, and more than Labour on police, defence and pensions. But we will save £12 billion a year by 2007-8 by cutting back other expenditure. We will freeze civil service recruitment, remove 235,000 bureaucratic posts, and cut or abolish 168 public bodies.

“Over the period to 2011-12, we will increase government spending by 4 per cent a year, compared to Labour’s plans (on current trends) to increase spending by 5 per cent a year.

“Second, we will avoid further Labour stealth taxes by reducing government borrowing. Of our £12 billion savings, we will use £8 billion to reduce Labour’s excessive borrowing, so that we can avoid the tax rises that would otherwise be needed.

“Third, we will lower taxes. We believe that people should choose how their money is spent. They should be rewarded for their hard work and be given peace of mind in old age. We will use the remaining £4 billion of our £12 billion savings to cut taxes in our first Budget.”

The Tories have already promised to cut council tax bills for millions of pensioners. The manifesto adds: “Our new, permanent discount, reducing council tax bills by up to £500 for households where all residents are over 65 will be fully funded by central government.”

Andrew Goodall
Editor, TaxZone

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Annie Hayes


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