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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 19:24 GMT
Cameron says Brown in 'deep hole'
David Cameron

David Cameron has accused the chancellor of "blowing open" his own arguments - by pledging in the Budget to cut the basic rate of income tax.

The Tory leader said it proved what the Tories had said all along - "that you can share the proceeds of growth".

He said Mr Brown usually saved pledges for a general election but was in "a deep hole" in the Labour leader race.

Later the Tories said the tax cut would be cancelled out by the abolition of the 10p rate of income tax.

Mr Cameron told Mr Brown: "You are the chancellor who has taken one tax down but put 99 taxes up.

"The average family is paying 1,300 more because of your Budget decisions."

Billions 'wasted'

He also said the Tories would examine National Insurance as they thought it might be hitting more middle-income families.

Mr Brown had wasted billions of pounds on public services with little to show for it, the Tory leader claimed.

"Your great experiment on tax and spending has failed. You are an out-of-date politician, wedded to state control. And the question that everybody is asking is 'Where has the money gone?'"

"We have had a bonanza of spending on the NHS but nurses are being sacked
David Cameron

He said that, although the chancellor had boasted of increasing spending on education over the past 10 years, 40% of primary school pupils could not read properly.

And despite pledges to tackle inequality and increase competitiveness, the number of people living in severe poverty was up by 400,000 and Britain had "the biggest tax burden in our history".

On the NHS he said all Mr Brown had done was announce this year's money "which we already knew".

Green taxes

He said borrowing was up and accused the chancellor of running out of money.

"We have had a bonanza of spending on the NHS but nurses are being sacked.

"You brag about people's long-term security but the pension system is shot to pieces."

Conservative protest
Tory activists said Mr Brown had raised taxes 99 times since 1997

On the environment he said carbon emissions were up and green taxes as a proportion of overall taxation were down since 1997.

And while the chancellor had been criticising Tory policy all year, he had ended up "conceding what we have said all along", said Mr Cameron.

"You can increase spending and you can cut taxes - yes, you can share the proceeds of growth."

He made several references to comments by Lord Turnbull, the former head of the civil service, who described Mr Brown's management style as operating with "Stalinist ruthlessness".

He said the Labour Party were "just realising their next leader has the tendencies of Stalin and the poll ratings of Michael Foot".

But he added: "Let me tell you what your real problem is, it is not that you are a Stalinist who holds all your colleagues in contempt - although I have to say that probably doesn't help - it is that you have wasted money on an industrial scale."




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