20 days to go: People have given up on Tony Blair

Michael Howard has dismissed Labour election manifesto as "all talk", and "more of the same", and warned that a third term for Tony Blair will mean higher taxes for the British people. Speaking soon after the Prime Minister unveiled his latest programme, the Conservative Leader said Labour has already had eight years to deliver on its pledges - and failed to do so.

"His latest manifesto is full of promises. But he's had eight years. What's he been doing? It's no use making these promises now. They have heard it all before. And everyone knows that it's not going to happen," he said.

But Mr Howard warned that one certainty would follow a Labour win on May 5 - higher taxes. "If Mr Blair gets in again, taxes will go up again," he declared.

The Conservative Leader said it was time the Prime Minister recognised how much he has let people down, with stealth taxes, squandering of public money, and endless broken promises. But instead, the country was being offered more of the same: more taxes, more talk, and more waste.

"It is obvious to everyone that Mr Blair just isn't able to get a grip on things that matter. Whatever he now says, everyone knows that his government has got the wrong priorities and the wrong values. Instead of getting a grip on people's priorities, he just pussyfoots around. Instead of taking action on the things that matter, he just talks and talks."

Insisting that the country is crying out for a lower tax burden, and action on schools, hospitals, crime and immigration, Mr Howard protested: "But Mr Blair's more of the same manifesto offers precisely the opposite: higher taxes and more waste. People have got wise to Blair economics: they know that his promises not to raise taxes aren't worth the paper they're written on.

"Just as Mr Blair's last manifesto meant years of stealth taxes, so today's manifesto means yet more stealth taxes for Britain's hard working families," he declared.

Earlier Shadow ministers Oliver Letwin and George Osborne called on Labour to spell out how it will finance its spending plans - and which taxes will go up.

"The promises made in their manifesto will be based on their plans to borrow, spend and tax. Because they are planning to spend more and borrow more than we are, they will have to tax more," declared Oliver Letwin.

Mr Osborne said: "Because Mr Blair and his Labour government always runs out of money, he always needs to raise taxes. At this election, the question is not whether Mr Blair would raise tax if he won the election, it is which tax would he raise: will it be: capital gains tax on homes, VAT on food, or National Insurance - Mr Blair's tax of choice?"

He warned: "If he chooses to raise employee National Insurance, it would have to be by 3%...costing a couple, both on average earnings, an extra £1,000 a year between them. That is the hidden price tag on Mr Blair's manifesto."


story from: www.conservatives.com