Brown pledges stability for business

Brown focused on what he called the ‘central economic issues’ and listed them as ‘stability the foundation; the work ethic and enterprise for all, and investment in education and transport’.

The chancellor said business needed a party with a credible economic policy, committed to economic stability.

‘Labour makes that commitment clear in our manifesto with our 2.5% symmetrical inflation target and our pledge to keep inflation and interest rates as low and stable as possible,’ he said.

And he promised further investment in infrastructure, including a commitment to a Pounds 180bn 10 year transport plan and increased investment in the country’s science base.

Furthermore, Labour would invest in the skills base with proposals to help 750,000 adults without basic literacy and numeracy and plans to set up 6,000 IT learning centres and consideration of a new workplace training tax credit.

In its efforts to promote an ‘enterprise culture’, Brown promised small business tax cuts, further measures on share options in the enterprise management incentive scheme and pledged to cut capital gains tax from 40p to 10p.

Predictability, Brown ended his announcement with an attack on Tory financial promises, repeating earlier comments that the Conservative Party’s business agenda offering all the ingredients that brought about boom and bust.

Meanwhile, the Tories today attempted to turn the focus back to tax following an all-out assualt on the euro during the last few days.

‘Over the last four years, Britain’s hard-pressed families have borne the brunt of Labour’s stealth taxes. Gordon Brown has introduced 45 new stealth taxes during the course of this parliament,’ said William Hague at a news conference.

He said: ‘Taxes in total are up by £28bn since 1997, the equivalent of a 10p increase in the basic rate of income tax – and it’s the poorest families who have been hit hardest.’

Earlier in the campaign, the Conservatives were embarrassed by leaks suggesting the party had plans to cut taxes by £20bn if it confounded pollsters and won the election.


Election 2001

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