IMF says labour must cutback bloated public spending

#1
Labour's manifesto launch was overshadowed yesterday by a warning from the International Monetary Fund that the next Government would have to rein back spending or raise taxes.

Michael Howard said Labour had been hit by a "tax bombshell" but the Conservative attack was blunted when Oliver Letwin, the shadow chancellor, refused to guarantee that taxes would not rise under a Tory administration.

Labour's manifesto again promised not to raise the basic and top rates of income tax or extend VAT during the next Parliament, but did not rule out increasing National Insurance contributions - which rose after the 2001 general election.

The Conservatives claimed that taxes would go up again under Labour, saying its manifesto had a "hidden price tag" - a three per cent increase in National Insurance, costing a couple both on average earnings an extra £1,000 a year.

According to the IMF's latest world economic outlook, there was a shortfall in Government finances which needed to be tackled either through slower spending growth or higher taxes.


The timing of the report was a serious embarrassment for Gordon Brown who has maintained that Labour's higher spending on health, education and transport was fully costed and affordable.

The Chancellor later insisted that the IMF had "got it wrong on the growth of the economy and the revenues it would be able to generate".

Election

The Tories refused to match Labour's limited tax pledges. Mr Howard said the party had already set out how it would achieve savings to cut Government borrowing, avoid Labour's "third-term tax rises" and hand £4 billion back to taxpayers.

Labour's most "ambitious and radical" manifesto - and Tony Blair's last as leader - contained more than 270 policy commitments extending Whitehall control over the daily lives of every individual.

During a Labour third term, ministers will micro-manage how people organise their family life, work and leisure. Whitehall will have a bigger say over what they eat and their children's computers, as well as monitoring their movements through identity cards and road tolls.

The choreographed manifesto launch at a London theatre was a cross between a revivalist religious meeting and a television game show.

With trust in Mr Blair still an issue after the Iraq war, the focus was firmly on public services and the economy.

The 23,000-word manifesto also included Mr Blair's statement that he was fighting his last election as party leader and Prime Minister.

The launch was very much a double act, with Mr Blair and Mr Brown heaping praise on each other. The Prime Minister came close to anointing Mr Brown as his successor, while the Chancellor made clear he was fully signed up to a manifesto which Mr Blair said was "quintessentially New Labour".

Mr Blair appeared determined to ensure there would not be a lurch back to Old Labour when he stepped down.

He said the manifesto showed that when the party was under new leadership, Labour would continue to be "the modern progressive New Labour Party of the past 10 years - one that the British people can support with confidence".
Torygraph
 
#2
"During a Labour third term, ministers will micro-manage how people organise their family life, work and leisure. Whitehall will have a bigger say over what they eat and their children's computers, as well as monitoring their movements through identity cards and road tolls."
 
#3
You bloody cynic!

Dont talk about the great leader like that!. After all its not his fault that the country is going down the pan, its society's fault for not following his illustrious guidance ! (dictated to him by big brother in disguise as a grumpy scot!)

:twisted:
 

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