Blair launches third and final manifesto

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tony Blair today launched the Labour Party's 112 page manifesto for a third term, entitled "Britain: Forward not back", at London's Mermaid Theatre this afternoon, promising not to increase income tax or VAT.

Blair, with Chancellor Gordon Brown, described the manifesto, which focused on economic policy, as "radical", "quintessentially New Labour" and giving people the "chance to succeed and make the most of what they have".

As well as economic promises, the manifesto pledged better social housing, increased funding and reform of education and the National Health Service and the introduction of community police patrols. The manifesto does not promise a freeze on National Insurance, the income-linked tax which funds the NHS and pensions.

Conservative leader Michael Howard said that the British people had "heard it all before", and reiterated claims that Labour would have to increase taxes significantly in the third term.

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell, whose party was the only mainstream party consistently against the Iraq war, said Labour would "not be judged by their promises, but by what they have done", adding that Labour have not kept their previous promises.

The Conservative Party and Green Party launched their manifestos yesterday, and the Liberal Democrats launch theirs tomorrow.

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