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Monday, 12 April 2010

Election Update

By Dr.Brian Sloan

Labour today was the first of the three main parties to unveil its manifesto of the campaign, “A Future Fair for All”.

As expected there were no surprises, most of the policies and ambitions have already been announced; many in the Chancellor’s Budget Statement

Whilst the manifesto outlines many plans, it lacks clarity and doesn’t explain how these plans will be funded or implemented. Although the Party dropped the idea to charge a 50p levy on telephone lines in the Finance Bill, the Labour party intends to reintroduce the tax on landlines to fund super fast broadband. The Chamber supports the need to fund improved digital infrastructure, but the means chosen has been ill-conceived and will have a negative effect on many of our business members.

Plans for high speed rail have also been slightly amended to include Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield in the first stage of implementation. The Chamber welcomes this news as we have lobbied to ensure that the project comes to Manchester as a priority at the earliest stage.

With the Conservative manifesto expected to be launched tomorrow, policies to look out for will be the announcement of their policy to introduce of a “Fuel Duty Stabiliser”, particularly with prices at the pump hitting record highs, the national insurance debate is likely to roll-on and there may be announcements concerning apprenticeships.

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