Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Wants the Keys to No 10

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Brown Wants the Keys to No 10

Article excerpt

Byline: By William Green

Gordon Brown was a politician on a mission yesterday ( to show why he is the man to take over from Tony Blair as premier and beat the Tories at the next election.

In what is likely to be his last budget, the Chancellor sought to smooth his entry to Number 10 by setting the direction of his coming administration as well as directly squaring up to Tory leader David Cameron, a man desperate to snatch the keys of power from him.

The public saw a tough but cuddly Prime Minister in the making, with a headline-grabbing cut in the basic rate of income tax from 22p to 20p and continued funding increases for education and health.

And one thing Mr Brown may well keep with him in Downing Street is Tony Blair's famous phrase "education, education, education" ( yesterday's speech was littered with frequent references to hard-working families.

But families with children, however, could potentially lose money, especially if they drive a people carrier subject to the higher vehicle excise duty, but gain through increased tax credits.

Many commentators remarked how he gave with one hand, and took away with the other.

Many changes are also not planned to begin until April 2008, while the Chancellor has given away some things but brought in additional cash in other areas by tinkering with the fine detail of the system.

The pledge of extra cash to fight terrorism and support the Armed Forces demonstrated Mr Brown's determination to show the country will be safe in his hands and he will take the tough decisions when needed ( something he has faced criticism for in the past.

The Chancellor also sought to "out-green" the Tories and Liberal Democrats on climate change with a package of measures designed to help save the planet ( including a hike in road tax for "gas guzzlers" ( which he hopes will win crucial votes over what has become the hottest political issue of the moment. …

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