Election 2001: The manifestos

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.


  • 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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