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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
At-a-glance: Tory proposals
A Conservative Party policy group has published proposals which it says will improve the UK's economic competitiveness. They will now be considered by the party leadership for possible inclusion in its next manifesto.


  • Bring in "targeted tax reductions" to encourage "a more enterprising UK"

  • Abolish inheritance tax, which currently stands at 40% on the value of estates above 300,000

  • Reduce corporation tax from 30p to 25p in the pound for large businesses

  • Cut corporation tax to 20p for small businesses - the same as the standard income tax rate

  • Raise the threshold for the 40% higher rate of income tax, which currently stands at 34,600

  • Abolish stamp duty on shares


  • Cut the cost of regulation and bureaucracy by 14bn a year, leaving "business with more money to invest in new jobs and new products and encourage small businesses to take on more staff"

  • Create a "more positive way of motivating and rewarding public officials", to raise government efficiency and to reduce cost


  • Rail capacity must expand by 50% through new technology and adopting the types of modern lighter train used in other countries

  • Money should be raised from foreign lorries using UK roads, providing cash to remove bottlenecks and improve traffic flows

  • More private money to build relief trunk routes - as with the M6 tollway near Birmingham - or to widen existing main routes


  • Organise a competition to see which technologies offer the cheapest and best way of generating carbon-free or low-carbon electricity


  • Abolish the "bureaucratic" Learning and Skills Council and develop a system of training "based on student choice and employer need"

  • A "better tax deal" for people and companies to give to universities to strengthen their endowments

  • Strengthen the UK's science base by encouraging more positive links between business and universities


  • Identify places suitable for new settlements, beginning with an enlarged Thames Gateway development using reclaimed estuary land and brownfield sites

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