TaxPersonal TaxBrown stays tight-lipped on income tax

Brown stays tight-lipped on income tax

Gordon Brown has refused to be drawn on rumours that Labour will pledge to leave income tax rates unchanged as it campaigns for re-election.

The chancellor, who was interviewed on BBC radio, said his party had met all its tax pledges set out in 1997 and would continue to follow its economic plan of bring ‘prosperity for all’.

Brown said his administration would continue to adopt a ‘balanced approach’ to taxation, and foresaw a continued drop in the tax burden over the next few years. The Treasury would ensure tax cuts would be made, where affordable, with children’s tax credit being given particular priority.

And despite refusing to comment on the income tax question, Brown did reveal Labour’s five-point economic plan earmarked for the next government, should it triumph at the polls.

He said his party’s goals were economic stability, high productivity, full employment, family prosperity and excellence in education for Britain.

‘Labour’s first goal for the decade, to lock in our hard won and new won economic stability, demands policies to keep inflation and interest rates as low as possible with fiscal rules that are consistently met,’ Brown said.

The chancellor also highlighted the importance of providing employment opportunities for all, and ensuring productivity levels continued to grow.

He pledged that by 2010, Britain would have the fastest growing productivity and thus prosperity of any of its main competitors.

And he criticised the Tories for their ‘boom and bust’ tax policies of the past.

‘When I see the Conservatives coming forward with irresponsible and indiscriminate tax cuts they cannot afford in the next three years, it reminds me of the same reckless mistakes the Conservatives made in the late nineteen-eighties and early nineties – putting stability at risk, cutting public services, and with no fiscal discipline.

This followed attacks from Conservative leader William Hague who said of Labour’s: ‘Never has a party taxed so much and achieved so little.’

The Labour Party Manifesto is due to be published next week.

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