ELECTION 2001: Chancellor Reveals Plan to Cut Tax for Poorest
Colin Brown And Steve Richards, The Independent (London, England)
A FRESH round of tax cuts targeted at low-paid families is to be announced by Gordon Brown as part of an election strategy aimed at destroying the Conservatives' chances of narrowing Labour's lead in the polls. A senior party strategist says they want to "punish" right-wing Conservatives by winning another landslide in the election.
The unexpected success of William Hague's first week of the battle and the backlash against Tony Blair's use of a school as the scene for his campaign launch led to tensions within Labour's Millbank headquarters.
Now Mr Brown, who is in charge of Labour's election strategy, intends to go for the jugular by attacking the Conservatives with a promise of more tax cuts for those on low incomes and a "renaissance" of town hall services.
Speaking exclusively to The Independent on Sunday, the Chancellor said he would announce new targeted tax cuts on top of those announced in the budget for low- and middle-income families.
"We have in recent years created a better system to reward work and employment. We introduced a 10p tax rate, reformed national insurance ... any future promises will have to await the manifesto," he said.
The Chancellor said the targeted tax cuts were part of a "balanced" approach to the economy. They will also be seen as an attempt to answer the expected discontent from Labour's grass roots when Tony Blair repeats his pledge not to raise income tax for the middle classes.
A new pounds 400m reward fund for 150 towns and cities will spearhead Labour's campaign appealing to their disenchanted core vote. Promising a "civic renewal", Mr Brown said the extra resources would be made available to councils that have entered new performance agreements with the Government to improve services.
"We will say we want to give successful local councils more leeway to meet local needs. This renaissance of local government will proceed as we extend public service agreements to 150 local councils in return for higher performance," he said.
More than 150,000 amateur sports clubs are to be given relief from corporation profits tax, and a US-style scheme …
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Publication information: Article title: ELECTION 2001: Chancellor Reveals Plan to Cut Tax for Poorest. Contributors: Colin Brown And Steve Richards - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 13, 2001. Page number: 1. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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