This followed William Hague’s pledge to cut £8bn in taxes and match Labour’s spending on education and health if his party wins the next election.
Darling, quoted on the BBC website today, called the Tories’ sums ‘invented’ and said ‘they simply did not add up’.
Hague made his pledge before tommorrow’s Queen’s speech and promised to give more money to pensioners, savers and families. ‘The next Conservative government will be a tax cutting government,’ he said.
Despite Labour’s accusations, the Tories have insisted that crushing bureaucracy will free up funds for schools and the health service. The party plans to use this strategy to make £4.1bn available for education, by going directly to schools and cutting out local authorities.
Other measures include closing the government’s New Deal programme, which helps young people, and single parents find work, and a crackdown on welfare fraud. In this way the Tories claim that they can match Labour’s spending on the NHS.
Hague called his party’s plans ‘the most serious and solid programme of taxation ever offered by a political party’.
Meanwhile, chancellor Gordon Brown was today expected to announce ‘targeted tax cuts’ in a bid to counter shadow chancellor Michael Portillo’s ‘five principles of spending’ tax plans, and his expected attack on Labour’s policies.
Labour’s tax cuts will be focused on working families and the elderly, while they plan to extend their current array of tax credits in April 2001.
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