PracticePeople In PracticeElection 2001: The manifestos

Election 2001: The manifestos

For all the talk of eggs and boxing, the main parties seemed to have got away with manifestos that come up short on ideas for business, tax and public services. AccountancyAge.com has dug out the bare essentials.

The Conservatives

  • Reduce tax burdens on business and individuals through an £8bn (could be £20bn) tax cut programme;
  • A headline 6p reduction in the duty on petrol;
  • Cut business rates and the Climate Change Levy;
  • Repeal IR35;
  • Establish a deregulation committee to cut red tape on business;
  • Public spending to grow no faster than economic growth, probably around 2.5% annually over the next few years;
  • Oppose joining the euro for the duration of next parliament.

    The Liberal Democrats

  • Commitment to raising £9.5bn through taxes to fund improvements to public services, rising to around £11bn by the fifth year of parliament;
  • One penny on the rate of income tax, plus introduction of a 50% tax on earnings over £100,000;
  • Reduce burdens on business, especially small businesses by introducing a Business Rate Allowance;
  • Introduce a Small Business Inspectorate;
  • Greater environmental checks on big business;
  • Proposed changes to capital gains taxes to raise more for the Treasury;
  • Tax cuts at lower income levels;
  • Hold a referendum on joining the euro.

    Labour

  • Extended tax breaks to fuel more investment;
  • No return to tax and spend policies, emphasis on prudence and financial restraint;
  • No rises in income tax;
  • Policy on euro: prepare and decide. A referendum is likely during the next parliament;
  • Tax cuts for small businesses. Basic 10p tax rate extended for small businesses;
  • Increased in public sector spending, especially education and health. No breaking of the ‘golden rule’ -only borrowing money to fund capital spending;
  • Probable extended use of the Private Finance Initiative;
  • Cut red tape through its Regulatory Reform Act;
  • Facilitate the development of broadband services on the internet.

    Scottish National Party

  • Scrap climate change levy;
  • Introduce measures to stimulate venture capital;
  • Full fiscal freedom for the Scottish Parliament wanted, not just the 3p allowed to be raised by the Scottish Executive through legislation;
  • Higher public spending on pensions and Scotland?s infrastructure;
  • Scrapping the Private Finance Initiative;
  • A trust for public investment to be created;
  • Will press the case for the introduction of the euro.

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