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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 February, 2005, 21:21 GMT
Labour's election pledges: Your views
Tony Blair
Tony Blair has completed a day-long tour of the UK during which he unveiled six key election pledges on his way to Labour's spring conference in Gateshead.

The Prime Minister and Chancellor Gordon Brown outlined the first pledge, "Your family better off", which focused on raising the minimum wage, doing more to help first-time buyers and getting more people off benefits and into work.

Other pledges concentrated on health, education, childcare, crime and immigration.

The Tories have called the pledges "utterly worthless", while the Lib Dems say they may not be enough to restore trust.

What do you think of Labour's pledges? Do you believe the party can deliver its promises? Do you believe the party delivered on its previous election promises?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Deja vu? If Mr Blair hadn't promised the same things so many times before, and subsequently either failed to deliver or totally ignored the matter(s), there may be a point in giving him some credence. Reflecting on his record, their isn't any point.
Ted Treen, Wolverhampton, UK

Labour has kept all its pledges - but people should remember that Rome was not built in a day and that 18 years of Tory misrule will take some time to put right.
LC, Milton Keynes

As one of Labour's cash cows (male 35, living alone, driving to work), I can honestly say that I haven't benefited one jot from this government's policies. I'm am significantly worse off and expect to be more so if they get in again. Everything revolves around the "family" and people like me get no allowances, no tax breaks, nothing. Yet it is people like me who are earning the income for this country to fund all this nonsense..
Phil, Worcester

We all heard Blair's last pledges; no tuition fees and no tax rises. Also he said more involvement in Europe and more influence - well, the Iraq War messed that up for us, given that the rest of Europe now looks upon Britain with a very suspicious eye.
Darryl, Paderborn, Germany

In response to the comment "In the last eight years the economy has remained stable", there are two reasons for this: (1) we've paid for it via stealth taxes, (2) we've paid for it via the housing and credit markets bubbles.
Paul, Bracknell

As a non-driver, I am still waiting for Mr. Blair to deliver on his 1997 promise "to improve public transport". I have sent several emails about this to Mr. Blair, relevant ministers and the Labour Party - but have never received a reply! Is it any wonder that people think they are not being listened to.
Phil Arthur, Rickmansworth, UK

The pledges are deliberately open-ended and open to interpretation.
Malcolm, Canterbury, UK
'Your family better off' - better off than what? Better off than a family in 1980? A family in the third world? The pledges are deliberately open-ended and open to interpretation, with no quantifiable measure. No-one will be able to look back in four years time and say they've failed to adhere to them. They're not worth the cards that they're written on.
Malcolm, Canterbury, UK

How about some pledges on transport, pensions and affordable housing for all? Better still, how about some political honesty and integrity just for once? The only thing you can rely on with New Labour is that they'll twist their words to make them mean whatever they want as and when it suits them.
David, Milton Keynes, UK

I'm still waiting for previous pledges to be honoured, never mind a new set. What is set in stone for me is that everything goes up way above the rate of inflation - except my pay. I'm much worse off under labour, and will vote accordingly. Forget the pledges folks, look in your wallet.
Duncan Barnes, Surrey, UK

Open your eye Britain; You really have never had it so good. This government has worked tirelessly to deliver, an extremely hard job after Thatcher destroyed society, and it is succeeding slowly. I grew up under Thatcher and resent the youth I was allowed by her government. Tony Blair and New Labour were needed and have done an amazing job. Britain IS working, please God don't let the Tories wreck it again.
Andrew Morrow, Leighton Buzzard, UK

How is a pledge different from a promise, and if there is no real difference, why should we trust New Labour who, in my view, have shown themselves to be thoroughly untrustworthy in the last 8 years?
Graham Shelton, Oxford, England

Who pays and how do we know we get value for money?
George, Chelmsford
I have to admit the pledges look good. But here's the problem - who pays and how do we know we get value for money? Labour can't answer that. I would like more money in my pocket to make my own choices.
George, Chelmsford

How can Blair say "Your family is better off" when he plans to make thousands of job cuts in the civil service adding more to the unemployment figures? It is time for a change in government.
Lynn Abramovici, London, England

I agree with the previous comments that this trip was blatant electioneering. As such I do not believe it should have been the taxpayers of this country who paid for it. So who is footing the bill?
Merv Rogers, Howden, East Yorkshire.

Apart from its subservience to US foreign policy, I have few problems with the record of this government. But to regard election pledges (from any party) as anything other than short-term, fingers-crossed-behind-the-back devices to win an election is naivety of the highest order.
Jim McDermott, Daventry, UK

Schools and hospitals are getting better
In the last eight years the economy has remained stable - a better record than was achieved by the Tories. Schools and hospitals are getting better. The minimum wage, improved pensions and well targeted benefits have lifted millions out of poverty. If it weren't for Iraq this would be a government I'd be a proud supporter of.

The problem is not if Tony Blair is any good but what choice do we have? The so-called opposition are useless and have no real policy which defines then as unique or different. This is why Tony will serve another term, not because he is any good or anyone really likes him but because we have nothing else.
John Gearing, St Helens, UK

Like many other people in their 50s, my family is worse off because of the extra burden of taxation that Gordon Brown has levied. Because of his tax on pension providers, we will be in poverty when we retire. That is certain. Knowing that, I have no faith at all that the other pledges will be fulfilled.
Fiona, Insch, Scotland

I hate to say it, but we should follow the American system. Two terms and then you're outta here. Labour hasn't delivered, only changed the goal posts, which doesn't count.
Kieron, Reading

Expectations are constantly rising
Arthur, UK
This government has been successful, building on the positive aspects of Conservative legacy, and has also been successful in delivering most of its promises. The problem, however, faced by Labour is that expectations are constantly rising out of proportion to the level of improvement. Quite rightly people will always want better and no matter how well the government performs, people will never be satisfied.
Arthur, UK

Tony Blair is now campaigning hard, although there is no election date as yet. So who is paying for all this gallivanting around the country? The Labour Party or the taxpayer??
Peter and Judith Jones, Bertric-Buree, France

Three mainstream parties - all right wing. Whoever you vote for you get the same politics. It's still a 16th century "old boys" network where the rich get richer.
Dan Abbott, Manchester, UK

Help for first time buyers? At the rate John Prescott is dealing with the housing crisis, I guess that will be places in retirement villages.
Andrew, York, UK

I've just had friends stopping with me from the USA. They commented on how prosperous our city appears and I think this is typical of investment in communities all over the country. Unfortunately we are a nation of whingers and don't realise how well off we are. The work done by this Government since 1997 has been relentless but then again it needed to be given what the Tories had subjected to us in the years before. I do hope we never return to the Thatcherite selfish attitudes and economy of the 1980s.
Martin, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

We have an elected dictatorship in this country. Governments being returned on less than 40% of the total vote, with majorities which in no way reflect the level of support they actually receive. Whatever pledges are made, by whoever makes them nothing will change until we get a fairer voting system into operation.
Dave, England

Unfortunately the winner once again will be apathy. Last elections we had 60% turn out with 40% of that going to Labour. It means 25% of the voting public supports the government. Until we have real alternatives, people are not going to vote and we will have to accept Tony!
Theo, Uxbridge, UK

If we let the Tories in we will be back to boom/bust economics
Mike, Swindon, UK
Simply the best Prime Minister ever! Check the pledges from the last election; job done! Now the next phase. If we let the Tories in we will be back to boom/bust economics along with cut, cut and cut again! Those of us who lived through the 15% interest years and the ERM cock-up would not wish that on anybody. If it ain't broke, don't change it, and Britain is far from broke; as it was in 1997.
Mike, Swindon, UK

None of the 2005 election pledges made by political parties are of any importance to me. I will vote only for politicians who promise radical reform of the party political system of government, which is nothing more than elected dictatorship.
Brian Langfield, Yorkshire, UK

I find it amazing that Tony is still using silly little "pledges" to drive the Labour election campaign. I find it even more amazing that the people of this country still take Mr Blair seriously, as evidenced by the Labour lead in the polls.
Craig Belfield, Manchester, UK

I'm fed up of people talking about not voting; if you don't vote all you'll get is another pledge card in four year's time. If you want to protest about the lying career politicians, vote for an independent. If there are no independents in your area you should stand. We'll only break the corrupt political establishment by offering and choosing an alternative.
Duncan, Leeds, UK

I'd like to see the Tory pledges....scrap the minimum wage, bring pack poll tax, higher unemployment, interest rates at 15%....now surely they are all vote winners! Come on people it took the Tories 20 years to ruin everything...Labour have had 8 years so far to put it all right...they need another 2 terms to undo all the previous governments mess!!!
Lee, Basildon, England

No government can achieve anything other than faltering progress
No government can achieve anything other than faltering progress, any other expectations you may have are based on unrealistic manifestos. I think we should focus on end goals, what are we actually hoping to progress towards, rather than short term pledges that are rarely achieved.

I think that we have heard these pledges before. In fact, whenever there is an election Mr Blair rolls out the same old failed promises
John Crossley, Milton Keynes, England

I cannot fail to ask myself what Labour has been doing for the last 8 years. All these were issues in 1997 and it seems that all Labour has managed to do in the intervening time is massively increase my taxes, for very little in return. I'm afraid it's time to give the Conservatives a chance. Though I doubt they'll do better, at least I'll have more money in my pocket.
Martin, England

Can I ask Martin, England why he believes that having the Tories back in power means he will have more money in his pocket? Where was he living when the Tories were in power last? Crippling Interest Rates, Poll Tax spiralling out of control and miners living on handouts during a strike. Wake up and smell the coffee! 8 years of Labour rule have outsmarted the 20 years the Tories had to mess this country up big time!
Ross, Cardiff, UK

I will feel very depressed when I make my mark on my ballot paper
Norman West, Truro UK
Regrettably I cannot believe a word they say, but as that applies to all parties, I must put my cross somewhere, and generally I think New Labour will be better at it. Nevertheless I will feel very depressed when I make my mark on my ballot paper.
Norman West, Truro UK

I am a British Jordanian, I do not like Blair because of his Anglo American policy but the country seems to be in safe hands when he is at the top
Ahmad Hmoud, Jordan

Hasn't Blair just copied all the Tory policies? Labour has run out of steam.
Stuart Hawtree, Barking, England

Your family better off - yeah right. No doubt they'll keep raising the taxes that ordinary people pay at a disproportionate rate. National Insurance is a tax on work, a tax on earnings - the idle rich don't pay it. No wonder income tax rates stay untouched.
Jacqui K, Wokingham, England

It doesn't matter what they pledge, or what they can deliver, or if they've lied. There is no credible opposition, and hasn't been for ages. Let's hope the Lib Dems come second, the Tories seem to have lost the plot (and a few leaders...)
Alex, Edinburgh, Scotland

Quite why the UK public continue to delude themselves that voting for any of these political parasites is beyond me. The only guarantee is that that they will break election pledges and taxes will go up. Come on people, don't fall for it. Exercise your democratic right by not voting.
Andrew Hirst, Leeds, UK

What a joke. This government has had eight years to attend to all these major issues. Mr Blair should be telling us about the progress made, not what he is going to do about it now. If they couldn't do these things in eight years New Labour will not be able to do it in twelve - or maybe Mr Blair hopes that, like Mr Micawber, something will turn up.
DLW, Surrey, UK

Pledge is a furniture polish that leaves surfaces shiny and slippery, just like Tony Blair.
Chris Klein, Chandlers Ford UK

Of courses taxes have gone up, they have had to because of years of Tory under-investment
Paul B, Preston, UK
How can the views posted on here reflect a fair balance? Labour is way ahead in the polls yet every post on here is anti-labour. We currently have low-unemployment, low interest rates, the best economy in Europe, lower NHS waiting times, more nurses/doctors, and record investment in the NHS and education, and of course a minimum wage. What exactly are you all moaning about? And which specific pledges have been broken? Of courses taxes have gone up, they have had to because of years of Tory under-investment (but we still pay one of the lowest rates in the world). It's about time people grew up and realised that they were taxed less under the Tories at the expense of decent public services. The levels of tax we were paying in the 80s/early 90s was simply not realistic.
Paul B, Preston, UK

No more Millennium Domes, no more rampant council tax increases, no more illegal wars, no more erosion of civil liberties, no more spin, no more Tony Blair.
Dave, Hertfordshire

Low inflation, good economy, education, etc: Tony is pledging to do what any government should be doing anyway! Someone should tell him about the role of government - i.e. there to serve the people not vice versa.
V Gill, UK

The opinion of many on this board is one of outrage and frank disbelief that anyone would vote for Tony Blair in the forthcoming election. This sounds very similar to the opinions of a "majority" prior to the US election last year. The fact of the matter is, for all this man's many fault I cannot see a viable alternative. Our choice is even more clear-cut than for the Americans as we surely do have a one-party rule here in the UK. Talk about choosing the lesser of two evils! Where is Paddy Ashdown when you need him?
Martin, London, UK

I've lost patience with paying for Blair's ego trips
Mo C, UK
Pretty much the pre-election rhetoric I expected. But what they forgot to say is that they would fund the lower paid by leveraging more taxes on middle-income earners while the high earners make use of tax loopholes. I've lost patience with paying for Blair's ego trips - next time it's the Tories for me.
Mo C, UK

"Low mortgages"? From the people who brought you doubled house prices? And has anybody else noticed, the government that's so keen on detailed targets for everyone else is impressively vague about itself.
Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK

This is going to be the easiest election victory ever for Labour. The Tories will bring back hunting, and the Liberals want open door on asylum (as well as being clueless on the economy). Who are you going to vote for? Any offer on Labour's majority after the election - 120 maybe?
Howard Hodges, Flitwick, UK

Blair will win but I, like many people, will not vote Labour until he is no longer leader
Andrew Edgecock, London, UK
I have always voted Labour but feel so let down by Mr Blair and his handling of the 'war on terror'. I feel that our alliance to the US is too important to Blair and that we should concentrate on our relationship with the rest of Europe. I think Blair will win but I, like many people, will not vote Labour until he is no longer leader. I do not want a Conservative government but maybe that would signal the end for the PM.
Andrew Edgecock, London, UK

The only thing that the Labour Government has succeeded in delivering is that of an increased tax burden. Despite a cynical attempt to keep council tax increases to an "acceptable" level by increased grants, it does not hide the fact that under Labour council tax has increased by some 60-70%. The re-banding that is to be undertaken in 2007 will "slaughter" middle England to the tune of around a further 600 per year in council tax. Where is their pledge on this??
Roger Griffin, Telford

They'll probably be about as honest as the last pre-election promises, you know the ones that said; no tax rises, and no university tuition fees; or his assertion that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, need I go on? Blair is a liar, Brown is an unreconstructed follower of the brand of old fashioned socialism that brought this country to its knees, and they are going to win the election. God help us all.....
Martin, Epsom

Health and education are far better funded than in 1997, remember the way the Tories undermined teaching as a profession? Blair's pledges have been literally kept, four enquiries have found Blair an honest man re the war on Iraq. The press and the media including the BBC, (especially Today), will do their best to thwart them but I hope that Labour will win.
Homer, Dorset

My Uncle, who is 79 years old, had a fall at home and waited for over 3 hours at the 'flagship' Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment. He then endured 13 hours on a trolley waiting for a bed. He is still in hospital now but the A&E department originally wanted to send him home on the night of his fall! This is a typical example of the 'improved' public services Mr Blair promised. I personally will never believe another word the man utters. Vote them out come the election.
Dave Mudie, Edinburgh Scotland

Tony Blair is the only European leader with the "guts" to change anything in the world for the better. Europe needs someone to lead if it wants to be a player. T Blair is that guy. Give him another term or let him run for US President. Love the man. He's loyal and a friend.
Gretchen, Jackson, Mississippi

So Tony has started the election ball rolling with his 6 pledges - it's a shame he couldn't use the word promise instead. Any how I think a lot of the electorate don't believe what politicians say any more - and as for the Tory party all they do is criticise what ever Labour do or say - they can't put any constructive argument together
Paul, Leicester

Come on people wake up, you are being ripped off by an archaic political system
Ron C, Stoke, UK
Come on people wake up, you are being ripped off by an archaic political system that does nothing for you except bleed you dry with taxes and only serves to promote the power and wealth of those that live and work within its institutional walls. Listen to the election promises, they are the same as they were at the last election, the election before that and all the elections for the last three decades at least.
Listen to the political fighting between parties, they are the same as the last election, the election before that and all the elections for the last three decades at least, with each party claiming the others are failures and liars, whilst at the same time are offering promises that we know they just can not keep, like lower taxes! I think the time has come to let these people know what we really think and reject them all.
Ron C, Stoke, UK

Has anyone else noticed that the 50 successive quarters of growth that Gordon Brown is always crowing about started in mid 1992 at the time of our exit from the ERM. There have been three major events that have contributed to the success of the UK economy in the last decade, 1) Enforced Exit from ERM, 2) Giving the Bank of England control of interest policy, 3) The continuing hard work and long hours given by the UK public. All three have very little to do with the contribution of our political class.
James, Oxford, England

Mr Blair can pledge all he likes. In the past he has pledged no tuition fees, no increased taxation, WMDs, integrated transport, countless immigration clampdowns and countless more that have all proved to be not worth the time I spent listening to them.
Phillip Holley, UK, Cambs

I've totally lost the trust of Tony Blair, but not the Labour party. So long as he is leading the helm I wont be voting for Labour. He is far more interested in his image on a world stage and his place in history than on his job and policies at home. Remember Tony, we haven't forgotten the war just because you don't mention it anymore.
Willy, Swindon, England

Blair pledges cheap mortgages. How can he know? The Bank of England and world affairs govern such issues as interest rates or, has he forgotten? So much for a sound economy, most of current economic spending is done on the current credit binge bubble. Will it burst after the election?
Stephen, London, UK

Mr Blair's pledges to the country sound good on paper, but never seem good in reality - that might be because they never become a reality. Unless Mr Blair controls immigration he will find crime rates will increase to an extraordinary amount, as people have had enough of listening to promises and nothing happening. What I want to know is what the public have to give up to make these pledges a reality?
Rachel Smith

Labour, the same as all parties, have spun us a line for far too long. It's about time we had public cash accounting. Quite frankly I'd be surprised if this country wasn't nearly bankrupt. So I dare so it shan't come as much of a surprise that taxes will be raised yet again if Labour once again holds office... What was that about "Turn out the lights"
Paul, Basingstoke, UK

I'll vote for him if he can personally assure us that the evidence against Iran is as reliable as the evidence against Iraq...
Arthur Tress, UK

Why does Tony Blair ignore the peoples' opinions when there is no election looming and as soon as one is coming then make pledges that clearly mirror what we all want? It is too easy to be a yes man. Blair tries to be friends with everyone - he supports Bush, but also wants to be in Europe, he wants to help the less fortunate, but also hobnobs with the rich. This guy is so transparent I cannot believe the British public will elect him again. Oh for a leader who gives us back our independence and world wide respect as a nation - that is the only pledge I am interested in.
Piers Catton, Blandford Forum

The fact Labour keeps winning elections and yet their performance is so bad only shows the state the country is in. We have no worthy leaders.
Andy Baker, Lincoln, UK

The problem seems to be that so many people seem to be duped by Labour. They have delivered very little since 1997, whilst they have contributed to a significant increase in the cost of living. Unfortunately, Blair does have charisma and he seems to sell his ideological illusions well to the public. I certainly shall not be voting Labour though.
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK

Typical 'Old labour' nonsense, this time aimed at Southerners though rather than Northerners as in the 1970's. For instance, has he not yet realised that the best way to help first time home buyers and keep a good, stable economy is to get house prices back down to their long term equilibrium level of 3 to 4 times average income.
Pete, UK

The poor and down-trodden have absolutely no confidence in the Tories
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium
Tony Blair has a clear vision of where he would like to take the country. His pledges are pragmatic, helping first-time home-buyers, and they clearly emphasize the needs of the middle-class, the poor and the destitute. Health and education are absolute vote-winners. The poor and down-trodden have absolutely no confidence in the Tories. So if Mr Blair plays his cards right he should romp home to victory at the next general elections. The Tories would have to go the drawing-board again: they will probably have to lick their wounds and consult leading head-hunters for a complete revamp of the Shadow Cabinet.
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium

If the British people really want another war, this time in Iran then vote Labour. It could start WW3. I'm totally scared of these leaders, not the invisible terrorist, and won't be voting Labour ever again.
Mark, London

I will vote for anyone who will abolish council tax and instead levy a local income tax. Since I moved house three years ago my council tax has risen from 900 to nearly 2000.
Rick Hough, Knutsford, Cheshire, UK

Thanks Tony, but you just gave me more reasons not to vote for you
Jonny, England
My family won't be better off. I'll be taxed more for "services" that I won't be eligible to take advantage of, even if they were provided. Since I have bought a house already (at inflated prices) I won't qualify for first-time buyer help, and will have to fight increased competition to get a place big enough to start a family. I can look forward to a police force that lacks the resources to deal with antisocial crime yet has unlimited resources to fine me for minor motoring violations. Thanks Tony, but you just gave me more reasons not to vote for you.
Jonny, England

Well, the one good thing about Tony Blair is his unwavering support for George Bush. This is his only redeeming feature!
George Pierce, Korat, Thailand

Labour has lied to people and failed with policy making throughout the whole of his term in office. Why should anyone believe their election promises now. It seems though that the election is going to be a matter of dotting the i's and crossing the t's as there is no real alternative.
Karl Lynch, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Isn't it time that these politicians are held accountable for the promises. How many false promises have we heard in the past from both sides, and all we get is a political answer and never the truth as why the promises were never met.
Ben, London

The British people should look at what Blair has done so far. Hugely increased the public sector and increased stealth taxes and national debt to pay for it. Regardless of who wins the next election, the British public will have to pay for this increased spending in higher taxes.
Ian, Bradford, UK

Another election, another pledge to be broken
Trevor, Cambs, UK
Another election, another pledge to be broken. Why does the man just not accept that after Iraq and mythical WMD, nothing he says will ever be trusted. If he told me it was daylight I'd have to look outside to check. As for delivering its pledges, I wouldn't trust them to deliver my milk.
Trevor, Cambs, UK

Whatever Mr Blair says the broad band of middle England taxpayers will have to pay for it. I wonder if Mr Blair would care to cancel my debt like he is doing for Africa, then I would be more able to pay for higher taxes. Somehow I do not think this is likely though.
Alan, Telford, Shropshire

How can anyone seriously be left to vote for this man! After he has alienated a vast number of people with involvement of regime change in Iraq, putting tuition fees up in universities, and bringing in the hunting ban.... There must be a lot of people that disagree with his policies this term... but yet, I have a terrible feeling that the voting public have short term memories, and that the propaganda over the next few months will do all it can to make sure we forget these key issues.
Colin Grant, Manchester, UK

Cheap slogans don't fool anyone. Let's see some action. I am one of the "hard working families" and all I have seen is more taxation, more regulations, more crime, and more problems, in fact more of everything that Labour has pledged to reduce. We have seen 8 years of regression, it's time for a change.
Danny, London

Oh well, time for electioneering. When are people going to realise that the election manifesto is nothing to do with what the government will deliver or want to achieve. We fall for this trick time after time. One thing is for certain, your average punter is not going to be any better off under any government. They are not meant to be. The best thing to do is really exercise true democracy, and when polling day comes - just boycott the lot.
Tony, Welling, Kent

Promises are made to be broken.... and Tony and his team have succeeded admirably in achieving that. All these future promises have a cost and we all end up paying for them - except the 'elite' members of the 'black economy' and the super rich with good accountants. The Labour party would be returned without any opposition if they promised and delivered on getting the UK out of the EU, thus establishing a national identity which we are not allowed to have at present.
Alan Glenister, Bushey, UK

Having lived through 18 years of the Tories and 8 under New Labour, I have learned not to bother too much about what they say. Instead, I shall be voting on their performance (ie I won't be voting for either of them!)
Tim Watkins, Cardiff

"Your family better off" eh? What about those of us without families? Will we be better off when taxes have to go up to cover the gap between tax revenue and Labour's spending spree costs? I think not.
Chris, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Are these to be the same pledges which were made in 1997 and 2001? How many more chances to deliver does this guy want?
Brian W, Chelmsford, UK

To Brian W, Chelmsford: no they're not the same pledges, and if you look at the 1997 and 2001 all have been delivered (most beyond the level they were pledged at, eg 10,000 extra nurses (we've got 20,000 more nurses). Just because the papers and Tories say Labour hasn't delivered doesn't mean its true.
Kevin, West Mids

To Kevin, West Midlands: since 1997 there are actually 12,000 (not 20,000) more registered nurses, 10,500 of which are from overseas. The proportion of nurses in the 25-29 age bracket has fallen by 3.25% while it has increased by 4.5% for the over 55s. Foreign nurses are being bought in (possibly to the detriment of their own countries) via agencies at extra cost to the NHS while little effort is being made to develop the nursing profession at in the UK. This is not good government it is merely throwing money at the problem to make the soundbites look good. I'm stunned at the number of people who crow about Labour's headline successes without looking at the underlying facts. Same old Labour - tax & spend. P.s. These are not 'media' statistics but come from the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
JP, London

I would like to see an independent report on all promises Labour made when they came to power in '97. I don't have confidence in any of the parties, in fact like many people I find our current crop of political leaders across the board lack any real conviction or credibility. I wish that a politician would come along and put this country and its people above their own ego's.
Andy, London

Hard-working families have been ignored for two terms of this government, why should I give them my vote to ignore them again? As for immigration it is too late, we are the laughing stock of Europe!
Phil, Derby, UK

To Phil, Derby, UK - you saying hard working families has been ignored, well least most of you getting some sort of tax credits. Us hard working single people has always been ignored, we don't get anything.
Sunjay Bhogal, London

I don't know whose family is going to be better off, but it's certainly not mine. I'm much poorer since 1997, even though I earn more. In my view Labour has delivered nothing but hot air, so I refuse to believe that they'll come up trumps this time.
Sue, London, UK

It's not what they say that is important it is what they don't say that is more important.
Michael Ford, Bolton, England

If he's got all these bright ideas why haven't they been implemented by now
Helen Greenhalgh, Edinburgh, UK
Yawn! If he's got all these bright ideas why haven't they been implemented by now? It's not as though he hasn't had long enough already!
Helen Greenhalgh, Edinburgh, UK

We've heard it all before, Tony. You've said the very same words on immigration on previous occasions, and what have you done? Pull the other one - I'm voting Conservative.
Andy, Manchester, England

I am amazed after 8 years of broken promises that anyone can even think about taking Tony Blair's words seriously.
Dave, Sheffield, UK

Labour is supposed to be the party for the working class, all that's happening is Labour taking more and more money off working class people in the form of taxes. I think a pledge on lowering taxes would be better as it is increasingly difficult for working class people to stay afloat lately.
Clare Bell, Liversedge, Wakefield

We all know that at election time, words speak louder than actions
Dave Godfrey, Swindon, UK
We all know that at election time, words speak louder than actions. Therefore, we should take everything said by all parties with a pinch of salt.
Dave Godfrey, Swindon, UK

More spin from this government. Although the economy has been doing well you only need to see how much more in taxes we are paying and the amount of borrowing Mr Brown has been doing and things could be very shaky for the economy in years to come.
Charles, Crawley

I think we should have the pledges after elections not just in the run up to them. Sure pledges are a great way to initially gain support, but usually the pledges never materialise into anything so support is lost. Why should pledges only come in the run up to an election? Pledges should be an ongoing thing and not just exist to temporarily earn support every 4 years to stand a chance of winning.
Adrian, Rochdale, England, UK


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