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Sunday, 28 April, 2002, 13:10 GMT 14:10 UK
Tories attack Labour 'gimmicks'
Mr Duncan Smith said public deserved more than gimmicks
Iain Duncan Smith has said it is judgement time for a government which is big on gimmicks but small on delivery.

Speaking just five days ahead of the local elections, the Conservative leader attacked Labour's record on issues like crime and health

Citing soaring street crime figures, Mr Duncan Smith said there had been 50 announcements from the Home Office in the past nine months yet the number of muggings and robberies still went up.


I think that the public has the right to expect that the opposition has an alternative

Iain Duncan Smith
He also said that he wanted the public to enjoy healthcare on a par with other European countries and slated the government's plans for extra investment.

"They produce gimmicks for the front pages of the Sunday papers 'trust us we are going to do something - this is what we will do'," Mr Duncan Smith told the BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme.

"We say 'but you never do it you just promise it'.

"Three years later there's another 10 year plan.

"I am saying now it's judgement time."

Mr Duncan Smith refused to commit himself to matching Labour's spending commitments on the public services although he said he recognised more cash had to go into healthcare provision.

Credibility gap?

But he said any further investment must be matched with reforms and pointed to the difference between the level of healthcare in the UK compared to that enjoyed by citizens in other European countries.

The Tory leader said his opposition to the 1p hike in National Insurance contributions was because it was a regressive step that would hit job creation because all employers had to pay it.

On street crime he said the public had ceased to believe government claims that crime was going down.

What was needed was more police and less central control.

Problem politicians?

"I think that the public has the right to expect that the opposition has an alternative and that alternative is what we are going to find by looking at other countries.

"The systems are run more locally by hospitals, by doctors. Schools run themselves.

"The police forces get more effective because they are not run and controlled by politicians but by those that want this to work.

"I am saying politicians are the problem and the government is the problem here."

Quizzed over how well he thought his party would do in this Thursday's poll, Mr Duncan Smith refused to make any specific prediction although he added that he expected the Tories to make some gains.


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25 Apr 02 | UK Politics
18 Apr 02 | UK Politics
26 Apr 02 | UK Politics
22 Apr 02 | UK Politics
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