Tony Blair has asked voters to make Labour's changes last "for all time" as he launched his party's manifesto.
Economic stability, health, education and tackling crime are the key themes of the manifesto.
The Conservatives insist Labour will have to raise taxes to pay for its plans while the Liberal Democrats say the tax system is unfair.
What do you think of Labour's manifesto? How does it compare to the other parties? Are you persuaded by it? Send us your views.
This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments. You can read a selection of them below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
I just wish people would stop whingeing about the prospect of paying more tax. If we want public services we have to pay for them. Truth is we do not pay enough. One thing is for sure if the Tories get in, its back to the dark ages for us.
Mick Pickard, Rhos-on-Sea, Wales
No rise in lowest or highest tax rates sounds like a promise to raise the taxes in the middle bands, hitting the average family once again even without the near promise to raise NI rates again.
If Labour plan to raise taxes they should be honest about it and tell us. Then we can decide for ourselves if we wish to pay more. By not mentioning National Insurance, Labour clearly plan to increase it just like last time. This election is supposedly about trust. Yet who can trust Labour not to take ever larger slices of our money when they did exactly that after the last election? Brown the tax monster is licking his lips in delight.
Mike James, Cheshire
Labour has told too many lies for us to trust them anymore. It is time we stood up to these brutes, and took back what is rightfully ours - the country. Where I live we have had an influx of immigrants meaning that there are no longer enough jobs to go around. The worst bit is some of them are living of benefits, which should be spent on the public, and not their lavish lifestyles. Labour come on, give back our country.
Mohammad Miah, Kent, UK
Why even bother with manifestos? This document will go down like a lead balloon with the electorate. Unfortunately, they have run out of hot air.
Asif Givashi, London
I welcome very much the Labour manifesto and it will get my vote for Labour. I think the government has made a lot of achievements during the last 8 years
Jean-Paul Irtelli, Brighton, UK
The Conservatives and the Lib Dems have both been upfront about their plans for taxation. Why can't the Labour party just be honest? They're taxers and spenders at heart.
James Thompson, Norwich
Fact: 1million manufacturing jobs lost in last 7 years. Fact: 88new taxes (insurance tax, anyone?). Fact: 480,000 jobs created in quangos and politically correct vacancies that deliver nothing to the majority population. Fact: Only one of Mr. Blair's 1997 pledges has been met, and that was by forcing the hunting debate through parliament. 5 more years? We're not that stupid, are we?
Instead of education, education, education, reading between the lines with this manifesto it should be taxes, taxes, taxes. I travel around Europe on business occasionally and you can see quite clearly that in other countries things actually work! Come back here and it's all bureaucracy, red tape and nothing works. Where is all our tax going? Now even the IMF says labour's policies will mean taxes having to rise even further. Having voted Labour at the last two elections I'm putting my faith in Michael Howard hoping he'll wipe that smirk off Tony Bliar's face.
Ken Strain, Ascot England
By ruling out increases in the top rate of income tax, this means that the middle-income earners will have to bear the brunt once again. And by ruling out increases in income tax, but not National Insurance, it's pretty obvious which is going to go up.
Andrew Shore, Bristol, UK
Can we believe that they will do what they say they are going to do, I checked out the 1997 manifesto and it's just all talk. Labour got voted in because people wanted a change but they got more of the same old same old. This time Mr. Blair has lied to us about most everything which he has promised over the last two elections, so its time to get rid of Labour and let Mr. Howard have a go.
Terry McGovern, Watford
Labour's manifesto serves to remind me that Blair never uses one word when he can squeeze in four. The manifesto is 120 pages of incoherent drivel, and the paper is worth more than the prose.
Chris B, Bedford
Between them, Blair and Brown have all but ruined a great country and decimated the pensions of thousands like myself who have worked and saved all their lives to cushion retirement just to have our funds robbed. I hope and pray that the voters of this country see Labour for what it is.
Ken MacMillan, Perth, Scotland
I can't believe the Labour spokesman, Alan Milburn. Who do I believe is telling the truth? Well it ain't Tony Blair and his merry men.
Marina Malou, Berkshire
On past history we must read the manifesto for what it does not say. On that basis one can expect a rise in National Insurance contributions, extensive council tax rises and some brand new, yet to be named taxes.
Ray Stone, Nottingham
In the preface, Tony states that Labour made a tax rise for the NHS - if you recall, this was actually increased National Insurance - proof positive that Labour regards NI as a tax!
Neil, Oxford, UK
I personally love the fact that boldly proclaiming "No rise in the basic or top rate of income tax" has so many people confused about who Labour are going to tax. As per usual Labour will be going after the hardworking professional income bracket and taxing them even harder, which hardly seems like a socialist policy - why can't we have a genuine Socialist Party in Britain?
Bill Deal, Portsmouth, UK
I wish Labour would increase income tax - for those on higher incomes who can afford it - along with taxes on luxuries as I'm sure I remember it used to be, and reduce/remove the hidden taxes on essentials such as energy, insurance policies etc. then the honest, hard-working majority won't feel like they keep being pushed off the bottom rungs of life's ladder.
Paul Simpson, Burnham-on-Sea, UK
The Labour manifesto makes good practical sense; it asks the inhabitants of this country to pay for our services. The levels of tax in this country are lower than in many other European countries and that is why our services are of a lower standard than theirs. The main complainers about tax rises seem to be Tory voters - could this be because they use private services? The fact is that this country has advanced under Blair's government; we all have a choice.
Party manifestos are written by the PR scavengers that are paid serious money to get a party into power. If you believe them, I have no sympathy if you. It's time we had truth in British politics.
Mike, Denia, Spain
I do not have a problem with taxes as long as it can be shown how it is spent. I'd vote Labour in Eastbourne except it is not possible to make a difference here. So I'll vote Liberal Democrats because I know this vote will count.
The Labour manifesto and pictures of how it is being held aloft, remind one very much of Mao's "Little Red book"; but surely not.
Neil MacLean, Glasgow, UK
Labour seem very proud of delivering "low interest rates". Well, instead of comparing with the situation a decade or two ago in a completely different world economy, why not compare with our economic competitors now. The US base rate is currently 2.75%. The Eurozone base rate is 2.00%. The Japanese base rate is 0.1%. Does 4.75% still look "low"??
Nothing in it for single people like me. I guess we're not hard working and, therefore, do not count.
Paul G Taylor, London, UK
The Labour manifesto promises the earth without explaining where the money will come from. Any guesses?
The only stability in the economy is interest rates and luckily the Bank of England sets these. Any party can cut unemployment if they create hundreds of thousand public sector jobs and allow millions of people to claim benefits instead of working. More money has been spent on health but too much has gone on management and not doctors and nurses. Crime has gone up under Labour, not down.
Raymond Young, Consett, Co Durham
Let us not forget Labour's historical precedent - 83% for the top rate of tax in 1974. Now, they can't do it by raising income tax but there are plenty of other ways by which they could steal our hard earned cash. Imagine working incredibly hard and finding that for a proportion of your pay you were getting to take home less than a quarter of it!!! I'd be irate, which is why I'm voting Conservative.
National Insurance IS income tax. The Treasury has even reclassified its status so the money raised can be used for the same purpose. There is now no ceiling so it applies the same. Why the lies and pretence? Just say what you mean to do, Tony. The question has to be asked - how much is enough? After increasing the amount of gross tax revenue by nearly 40% since 1997 - and single digit public sector productivity growth - when will enough be enough?
Gus Swan, London, UK
Labour is just a recipe for more stealth taxes and increases in National Insurance plus the IMF have now confirmed that both PSBR and taxation will have to increase to fund Labour's spending plans. At least both the Tories and Lib Dem have been open and honest in their setting out their forecast spending plans. Best policy - vote for honesty - Tory or Lib Dem.
kay, Wallington, Surrey
Labour has done a good job over the past four years and have kept to most of their manifesto promises since the last election. Once again, Mr. Blair has delivered a great manifesto dealing with the key issues and tackling all the issues.
Darren Gilbertson, Maidstone
Even if income tax is not increased neither will the thresholds so the overall tax burden does increase. Fiscal drag has helped to make me worse off now than I have ever been.
Jeff, Howard, Fleet Hants
Never mind whether this is fair to hard working families (dual or single earner) or childless singles and couples, what's being done to get the non-productive NEETs (not in employment, education or training) to not be a burden on the rest of us? It's far too easy for these people to get on and remain on benefits for their entire life and bring up their kids to expect the same and be a drain on those who aspire to something better.
Everybody stop complaining about higher taxes. At least we can afford to pay them. If the Conservatives were in, we would have higher mortgage repayments (due to higher interest rates), our money would be worth less as inflation would be higher and we would be paying out for two and a half million more unemployed. So please vote Labour, as I would rather pay higher taxes for improvements in services rather than the things previously listed.
Who will lower fuel duty? When will we see better, cheaper transport? Will the next government LISTEN to the people? When will we see our HARD EARNED tax spent wisely? Why don't politicians ANSWER the questions? I'm very fed up with ALL politics.
Paresh Raval, Fife, Scotland
We must all ensure that we do not have another Tory government. So although the manifesto must have popular appeal it also has real social conscience. I will certainly do my part to ensure we do not end up in the mess of the 80s.
Jas Dulay, Chandlers Ford, England
Labour have been in power for eight years. I will only consider their track record when voting.
Andrew Piercy, London
They seem to keep trying to be all things to all people - and that's just not possible. Why don't they publish an honest manifesto stating exactly how much their Britain is going to cost us? Maybe because then nobody would elect them.
Dwayne Inglis, Peebles, Scotland
The Labour manifesto offers a great vision for our country. Has everyone forgotten the mess the Tories left? Thousands of people waited more than two years for their operation. On education I had to go to school in the '80s with leaking roofs, large class sizes and books between three people. Come on everyone - the Tories want you to forget their 18 years of rule - don't fool for it!
One doesn't have to have the memory of an elephant or the age of Methuselah to be able to remember how the Tories under Mrs Thatcher convinced the nation that income tax was a bad thing and that indirect taxes were the way forward. The Tories now call indirect taxes "stealth taxes" as a smear tactic. I detest the way that politicians treat the population as if they have no memory. But, saying that, it looks like many of the contributors to this discussion seem to have conveniently lost theirs.
Andrew M, Walsall, UK
Yet again we see policy framed to appease the left of the Labour party who have fallen out of love with their own leadership. The Government have betrayed core Labour values and deceived the country time and again to hide their own failings, e.g. Iraq, immigration policy, anti-social behaviour, detention orders and postal fraud etc. Five more years of Blair, Brown, Blunkett and the rest, you must be joking.
A major success of the Labour government has been in childcare and early years. More places, with free places for those who need it, regulated, and better trained staff. Labour have invested heavily in this area and it's beginning to pay off. The Conservative proposals to deregulate and relax standards are horrifying and I worry for the safety of young children if they are implemented.
It is the last of a trilogy of fictional paper backs. The first was very promising, the second was quite promising and now the third is not very promising. Always promising yet never delivering. It won't sell this time I'm afraid.
R C Robjohn, UK
Britain forward not back. Well, a very convenient position for (New) Labour, as going back will hold them accountable for the broken promises and U turns on pledges in their manifestos from 1997 and 2001. So, it's much better to move forward and feed the poor voters with the same pledges undelivered for 8 years, once again.
Cathy P, London, UK
If Labour aren't going to put up income taxes, where are they going to find the money to reduce our ever increasing budget deficit? National Insurance? Inheritance tax? Stamp duty? Middle Class people are going to continue to bear the brunt of Labour policies with more and more people paying 40% tax.
Adam, St Albans
A manifesto is not set in stone. All any party can do is set out what they hope to achieve over a term. Overall, I agree with their ideas and the direction they are taking. I will be voting Labour.
Why should anyone believe in any of the parties manifestos? They will not keep any of the so- called pledges. In this time of the professional MP how can you believe any of the rubbish they all spout?
Michael Foote, Leeds
The manifesto shows how Labour can take the country forward away from the failures of the Thatcher and Major years. People who complain have short memories or selective amnesia. The question they have to ask themselves is who raised tax the most? Maggie by a mile, and who doubled the national debt in 6 years? step forward John Major. How can anyone take Michael Howard seriously when he boasts of his attendance at a state school, yet sends his children to private schools?
Paul M, Basildon, UK
Nothing lasts for ever. We live in a world of change and Britain must always be prepared to adapt. Labour have spent more on public services but they seem to think that there is an endless amount of taxpayers money available to pay the bill. At present the Government is borrowing heavily as tax receipts are insufficient to cover the costs and therefore taxes will have to rise unless there is a serious efficiency drive. The Conservatives have worked this out and are being open and honest about the situation. Labour are hanging on by the skin of there teeth. They are not telling the truth about the state of the economy. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown do not deserve a third chance. I think it is time for change. It's time look at performance of public services. Perhaps we should take the Tories at their word and see just how accountable they are as their ideas make sense.
John, London, UK
If Labour had spent as much time dealing with real issues such as public transport and schools rather than non-issues such as fox hunting, then they may have got my vote - not this time I'm afraid!
Same ole same ole. Empty promises. How on earth will "refurbishing every secondary school in the country" tackle the problem of indiscipline and failing schools? No wonder education is in such a horrendous mess if that's what this government believes. The only section of society who stand to benefit from another Labour victory are illegal immigrants and the work shy, who will continue to be generously supported whilst everyone else sees their hard-earned income taken in ever-larger chunks by one of the most corrupt administrations the UK has ever seen.
Sandra Hill, London
During this Labour government I have seen everything go up in price by a hefty amount: council tax, national insurance, VAT added to more goods, my rent, housing, public transport, prescriptions, energy bills, even my dentist has now gone private. Everything seems to be costing so much more but my salary has remained unchanged after 4 years. I didn't vote for Labour last time around, and I won't be doing so this time either. Lib Dems, you are my only hope.
What Labour doesn't say is what they'll do; what they do say will go the way of the promises made in 2001.
David Ball, Wokingham, UK
If they get re-elected will they still be called new Labour?
There is so much red tape now, that even going to the toilet at work, you have to enter a 'task' to account for time spent doing it.
Charles Burton, Farnham
I don't see a promise not to freeze the tax thresholds so I firmly expect that to happen. I wouldn't mind so much if all the extra money they've taken from us all ever month wasn't so obviously wasted.
David, Chelmsford, UK
Labour misrepresented their position regarding taxes rises in 1997, why should we start believing them now?
It's interesting that the majority of comments here are about the tax burden. Rewind back to 1997 and you were all complaining about the poor quality of public services. Public services are better, but that costs money, which is why the tax burden has gone up. You all want to have your cake and eat it. Have you forgotten how bad public services had become under the Tories? Is that what you want to go back to? Labour has been a decent, not great government and deserves another term.
I don't know what to think of the Labour Manifesto. That's because I can't download it from Labour's website. I assume it's because they haven't allowed enough bandwidth for the downloading of this relatively large manifesto. However, I should expect a difference between the sites as the Michael Howard "actually wants people to read it."
Chris White, Newbury, UK
The sad truth is that Labour inherited the healthy economy from the Tories in the first place. Gordon Brown has just done a very good job of 'steering' the economy. The reason why the Tories were booted out of office was because they had grown arrogant and complacent and suffered from a string of bad headlines due to a few 'dirty old men'. Times change don't they? When the voters elected Labour they elected Tony Blair, and his personality. Not the phoney promises he offered. Make up only goes so deep and the cracks are showing. Tony Blair and his government have consistently lied to everybody and failed to deliver. Can everybody please wake up before it's too late for Britain.
I wish people would stop complaining about top up fees. They are a far more progressive way of paying for higher education than direct taxation and 40% of people don't have to pay them. Hopefully they will also make people appreciate the value of education.
Yet another grab from anyone that works hard to give more money to career scroungers. I've spent the last six years at college and university and am now starting out in life with £11,000 debt. Why bother when I could have had seven children, a six bed house, not have to work and rake in thousands a week?
Matt Robinson, Halesowen
All this talk of Labour reviving public services makes me laugh. Just try and get a minor operation on the NHS at the first attempt and within two years. If this Labour government is allowed to continue, we will end up with prescriptions sent through the post, internet consultations and surgery carried out remotely by a surgeon on the other side of the world.
Carl Sharman, Felixstowe
As a teacher I have personally seen the results of massive investment in pre school education and literacy and numeracy initiatives for under elevens. The Conservatives are offering nothing for education except some knee-jerk, woolly reaction initiatives to deal with bullying.
Helen, Newcastle upon Tyne
A third term is well deserved by the best government we've had in years. Just look back at the 80s and 90s and tremble - then vote Labour.
We have ten years to reverse climate change by cuts in greenhouse gases of up to 90%. This ex-Labour tome is not joined up, will worsen our problems and isn't relevant to the world we are living in. I will vote Green.
Martin Crees, Lewes, East Sussex
For a political party whose top priorities are "Education, Education, Education," it is a pity that the Labour Party's grasp of the English language is so poor. The slogan on their manifesto, "Forward not back" is ungrammatical English interlaced with American. If they must have a meaningless slogan it should be "Forwards not backwards".
Simon Whittaker, London
How can the Tories accuse Labour of stealth taxes when they won't rule out a tax rise themselves? The real difference between the parties is in their spending plans - Labour's manifesto is much more precise than the Tories manifesto on that.
Kevin, Bradford, UK
Nothing on National Insurance - what a surprise! Greedy Gordon's "hard working families" will be picking up the tab again for the next five years. It's time to get the professionals back in power and get these amateurs off the stage.
Jim Meaden, Bere Regis, Dorset
Make no mistake. Public services, especially health and education, are significantly better than they were eight years ago or would be under a future Conservative government. That's the choice we have. I know what is important to me.
Surely this government has undermined its own credibility through the incessant use of spin when presenting any number of issues. Why should we believe anything New Labour says now when they want our vote? Tony Blair asks today if you are better off than you were eight years ago - there is only one answer: no. Higher taxes and no improvement in public services (and I work in the public sector)
Kevin, Moreton in Marsh, UK
As ever, Labour are the only party to deliver a realistic, achievable and fair manifesto. Bravo, Blair and Brown.
Wesley, Frome, Somerset
Labour's manifesto is a load of waffle. Brown and Blair are just a comedy act.
Harold Ogden, Coniston, Cumbria
A detailed, focused manifesto, without the right wing, tabloid, headline grabbing polices of the Tories. The economy is strong and, as long as it remains strong, there should be no fear of National Insurance to rises. How quickly people forget the benefits this government has given us over the last eight years.
I seem to recall that the last Tory government increased national insurance from 6% to 10%, not to mention VAT up from 8% to 17.5%. Why is no one fretting about Howard's silence on VAT rates?
How short a lot of people's memories are. Labour has achieved a great deal in the last eight years and the Labour manifesto is a sensible and serious programme to build on what has been done to date. I used to be a Tory and left because I was disgusted by what the Tories did to our public services. The health service, schools, the economy and much else are all on the right track in my book and I see nothing at all that persuades me it's time to risk all that by going back to the Tories. No, I'll be sticking with Labour.
Richard Burningham, Plymouth
It is clear that Labour intends to raise taxes not by the honest up front methods but by underhand backdoor tactics
Duncan, Horsham, Sussex
The economy is the only thing that Labour can rely on in this election. Blair is a complete liability and only Gordon Brown can rescue the party and save it from defeat. The government has broken too many promises under the Blair leadership and does not really deserve to be re-elected.
Martin Biscombe, St Day, Cornwall
If Labour's changes lasted "for all time" the country would be ruined. What an appropriate day for the manifesto to be released: the same day figures are released to show unemployment has risen for the fourth month in a row.
Sam Pritchard, Newbury, Berkshire
Why do we always moan about paying a bit more on taxes, yet we expect fantastic public services? Those who have the ability to pay should pay. Labour are at least tackling social justice and making the country work after the Tory mess.
Before anyone else goes on about the refusal to rule out increases in National Insurance, didn't the Conservative shadow chancellor just yesterday refuse to rule out a rise in income tax?
James, St Albans
I find the naivety of many people astounding when it comes to interest rates. The Bank of England, not the Labour government, is responsible for interest rates so all the scaremongering about not wanting a "return to the massive interest rates of the Tory days" is just that - scaremongering. The Tories will be no more responsible for interest rates if they get in as Labour are now.
The Labour manifesto is by far the most common sense approach to running our Country. The Tories are somehow going to be able to reduce their incomings but increase the outgoings and The Lib Dems just want to give it all away for free. Surely we must use our heads and vote for the reds.
Jason Benka, London
Labour have their little red book. Compared to the Tories they have a lot to say. The Tories have produced a comic.
Lee Newham, London
It's the same old promises from Tony Blair. Why should anyone believe a word he says? He promised no tax rises at the last election and taxes have rose by stealth. It's just totally unacceptable the way a Prime Minister can be so smug! The Conservatives are getting my vote - let's get a Government in which we can hold to account. At least Michael Howard has published a time table for action to show us what he will do in the first hours, weeks and months when he gets elected.
New Labour, a party which strongly dedicated to wealth redistribution, speaks as though its tax credits and financial help for the less well-off are inherently good things. I'd consider myself better-off than most, but having worked so hard for what I've achieved, why should I be forced to give it all away to those who haven't?
Chris Kent, Bristol
I'm 19, it is my first ever voting experience. I just saw Labour's manifesto on TV - it's a bit of a joke really. No increase on income tax? They said that last time didn't they? Oh, and they didn't mention if there would be an increase on National Insurance. And does anyone really believe that they will build an extra 100 hospitals over the next five years? My vote is with the Conservatives.
William Kendall, Stratford-upon-Avon
A sound manifesto - good to see promises on global poverty. People so easily forget all this Labour government has done for them.
Tom French, Edinburgh
Why go back to a party that in the 70s allowed the individual to buy their own home, and then in the 80s and early 90s made it too expensive to keep paying for them. At least Labour has helped the economy and the individual to sustain growth.
Hank, Beck Row, Mildenhall, Suffolk
Probably a winning manifesto, and no rise in income tax. But I bet National Insurance and the council tax band of my house will rise dramatically soon after the election.
Paul, Chelmsford, Essex
Income tax will certainly increase in real terms due to Labour ensuring that the various thresholds do not increase in line with inflation.
Mark W, London, UK
The Labour Party are the only party that can keep the economy as good as it is now and have the commitment to social justice, tackling poverty nationally, as well as internationally. The Tories would only lead Britain back to a failed Tory past, lead to people being worse off and be a disaster for Britain.
The Labour manifesto's section on education is disappointing and peppered with platitudes. It has only six lines on special educational needs and instead of pursuing equality for all children, rejects inclusion and intends to prop up the segregated special schools.
Cathy Slater, London
As a tax professional, I, like many other people in the country, am aware that income tax is one of many taxes. What is the point of making a pledge not to increase income tax when the door is left wide open for every other tax? People care only that money is leaving their pockets and not what the name of the tax is.
Chris McCandless, London
Why should anyone take any notice of the Labour Party manifesto? Tony Blair doesn't, after all.
Keith Gale, Chesham
Am I persuaded by this manifesto? Absolutely not, it's the Tories for me and mine.
Income tax pledges are irrelevant as it represents less than 17% of the total tax take. Road pricing - a new tax. Has nobody noticed? Unemployment is on the rise. Again, it will be the prudent who will bear the brunt of a third Labour term.
I would like to see more help for single people. I live alone and have to pay 75% council tax. I believe it should be 50%. I also don't believe that Labour won't raise taxes.
Gary Stratton, Basildon
Labour has earned, and deserves, another term. They have the balance right and a track record of delivering economic prosperity. This is more than can be said for the other parties, especially the wannabe Lib Dems who want to put up income tax - that's an election loser for me.
I think people are getting too caught up in the usual tax obsession. It is common knowledge that we live in one of the most highly taxed countries in the world. Do you honestly think that taxes will be lower if you vote Tory or Lib Dem? I think not. For my vote, Labour has benefited more people during this reign in government than any other government in the past, especially in education and health. Like most people I'm not happy with the amount of tax I pay, but I believe that what I have paid under Labour has been spent wisely. Sure some things could be better, but I think Labour have their priorities right.
Sean Conlon, Coventry
I voted New Labour twice because I thought we needed change. I now feel New Labour has failed myself and others. My pension has been savaged by a chancellor that people say is good. Good for whom I would ask. Additionally I have been penalised because I'm what is termed as middle class. They will not be getting my vote this time round.
Johnie Wingfield, Watford, England
Can we at least be a bit realistic here? No matter which party we vote for, taxes will go up at some point. The question is, which party will you choose to raise those taxes?
Those who run a business will tell you that National Insurance is collected by the Inland Revenue. One cheque is submitted for both taxes and it all goes into a single treasury pot. NI is a tax and of course Labour plans to raise it. Anyone with a brain and a memory can see that. I'd welcome a pledge to merge it all into one income tax to avoid all this obfuscation.
Alan, Towcester, England
One reason unemployment is so low and spending is too high is the National Health Service is the third largest employer in the world. And I thought the empire was over!
Manoli Yannaghas, London
Why should we trust what Labour says in a manifesto? Didn't they say no tuition fees in their last manifesto? We will be taxed in every other way possible. Given they already tax us on our death, how long until a tax on new babies arrives?!!
This country needs more investment in public services. In France and other comparable European countries public spending amounts to around 50% of GDP, but we're lagging behind here in the early 40s. We need more taxation, not less.
I can just see it now, once Blair has gone and Labour don't deliver on their pledges, they become Tony Blair's pledges - what a cop out!
Dave Hughes, Walsall, England
They promise not to raise income tax, but haven't mentioned National Insurance. Haven't we heard this before? I don't trust them.
James Murphy, Dorset
Can't believe they're promising not to raise income tax again! We all remember what happened last time... no rise in income tax but an increase in tax on income! Do they really think everyone is stupid enough to believe them again?
I support the Labour manifesto - pity the Labour party do not. I remember the "we will not have any tuition fees" in the last manifesto.
Phil Allsopp, Oldham, UK
I want to know the parties are going to do about the pension time bomb as they all seem to be saying nothing and hoping that it will go away.
Paul Webb, Basingstoke
Why can we not have more time to read all these manifestos? The election is a few weeks away and as one of the many 'undecided' voters I would very much appreciate some time to read all the manifestos and make up my mind. Thinking about it though, in the US they get almost a year to make up their mind and look what happened there...
Matt, Cobham, UK
I look forward to working hard, trying to do the best for my family and then seeing an unprecedented amount of my income going back into Mr Brown's pocket. Education, Education, Education. More like Tax, Tax, Tax.
Paul Rapaccioli, Cleveleys, UK
There are a lot of people blaming the Westminster government for council tax rises. Isn't it up to the local council to set this? Also, a lot of people merely think of me, me, me. Surely democracy is about thinking what's right for the country as a whole not just a wealthy minority? Good luck Mr Blair, you deserve another five years.
Matt, Rotherham, England
I was quite impressed with it. It seemed clear and professional. The way they presented it made it really seem like a group effort and that they all had a strong grasp of their briefs. When you compare the Tories to Labour, the Conservatives seem very unprofessional and amateurish.
Martin Caldwell, UK
Let's be realistic - the Conservatives and Labour will have to tax by stealth if we want the services we demand. Only the Liberals have the guts to stand up and say what we all know - that tax will have to go up to meet everyone's needs. Get real everyone.
The constant whining of those who think we should pay no tax, yet expect superb public services, makes depressing reading. As a society we are now wealthier than ever. But if the messages below are representative, then we are also more selfish and greedy. Oh sorry, I was forgetting - there is no such thing as society is there? Who needs public hospitals anyway? Or a transport system, or employment for the hoi polloi? Let them eat cake.
If Labour return Gordon Brown will become PM and income tax will increase. The past two terms speak for themselves: just look at council tax and NI.
Peter Beresford, London
Completely ignore this manifesto. Based on previous experience I expect those promises they'll keep can be written on the back of a business card. Student fees anyone?
Dan, High Wycombe, Bucks
As cynical as some of the comments below have a right to be about Labour's non-income tax plans, the fact is that the Conservative plans are simply ridiculous and Alice in Wonderland economics. But Labour should simply say that public service investment is their priority and not tax cuts. Do people not remember how decrepit public services had become by 1997?
Ian, Dublin, Ireland
Are these 'promises' as flexible as the promise to introduce legislation to prevent the introduction of university top up fees?
I am sick and tired of people talking this country down. Labour has made some fantastic advances in public services for this country. While other European economies are struggling and going backwards, we have one of the strongest economies in the world. It is this economy that will pay for the many and not just the few. Of course Labour deserve another term.
Brett Brimble, Abertillery
Everything so far from your party seems to be aimed at 'hardworking families' or the elderly. What about law abiding couples who choose not to have children? What about my parents who had to scrimp and save to send their children to university? What about people who work hard and have to spend all their money on tax, national insurance and council tax? It seems that I will have to have a baby to get what I am entitled to under your government.
Nicola, Harrow, Middx
In the absence of any specific pledges on things like council tax and National Insurance, Labour's manifesto pledges on taxation are effectively worthless. Of course they won't raise income tax, but the only other certainty in this manifesto is that taxes will continue to rise year on year should they be re-elected.
Paul Phillips, Birmingham, UK
The persistent efforts by Blair and Brown to hypothesise and undermine Conservative and Lib Dem budgetary policy is clearly aimed at deflecting attention from the inevitable tax rises we all face should Labour be re-elected. Growth has been driven by debt accumulation at a personal and national level. I am seriously concerned by the prospect of another Labour term.
Gary Bruce, Caterham, Surrey
I'm not sure if I'm more scared by the prospect of Labour staying in power or the Tories getting back into power. Can we actually have a party that actually tells us what will rise and what will not? I'm tired of these rose-tinted manifestos that only tell half the story.
Steve Jones, High Wycombe
Surely it's clear that the public services are in a better state now than throughout the Tory years of disastrous cuts - I worked in the NHS then and remember it all too well. The Labour Party is offering a fundamental difference, social progression and inclusion for all. There IS such a thing as society under Blair and Brown.
Given this will be a third term, I think we can safely expect some massively expensive social engineering projects which we're all going to pay through the nose for, now they have nothing to lose.
Dean, Maidenhead, UK
Why must the government always do things? Just leave us alone to run our lives ourselves. The government must always remember they are only stewards, not owners.
Tony Humphreys, Prestatyn, UK
I am still waiting for the pledges of 1997 and 2001 to be delivered. Same old spin and rhetoric and no delivery. Get ready for the tax rises.
Tim Pullen, Woking, Surrey
Having had a quick look at the manifesto, it certainly seems a bit more positive and constructive than that of the Conservatives. Fancy campaigning on the basis of 'wiping the smirk' off someone's face! Tax may be most important to the greedy section of the population, but I hope the electorate realise there are more important issues.
Darren Langley, Dudley, UK
This is outrageous. After the whole fiasco over income tax versus National Insurance is the Labour Party so deluded to think that we're not going to see that they're not saying anything about National Insurance tax? This manifesto is an insult to voters' intelligence and people won't fall for the same trick twice.
Scott B, Leicester, UK
I can assure you, the only difference between this and the Tory manifesto is the word count.
Luke Bruce, London
Its time something was done about the council tax. It never fails to go up above the inflation rate
Michael Riley, Southport
Economic Stability? I'm sure that the workers at Rover and its suppliers are reassured by this. They must feel so let down. Also, if the future is as bright and rosy, why did Labour switch it's launch from Birmingham to London?
Pete O'H, County Durham, UK
Enough is enough, they have taxed the productive members of society and businesses to death, borrowing is out of control, mortgaged through PFIs, continuation with the public pension policy/black hole, where will they turn to next to make the UK uncompetitive? We cannot go on spending like this.
Labour has pledged to increase home ownership by two million. I'm trying not be cynical but this is just yet another way for the government to increase tax revenue, this time through the stamp duty tax from the purchases of the two million homes!
Ian Palmer, Essex, UK
A truly pathetic performance - surely no-one will be taken in this time? Basically Labour is promising to do all the things they promised to do last time (and the time before!) and still haven't done.
The Tory Party promise to cut taxes is no more than a cheap attempt to win votes. I'd rather have tax by stealth under Labour than a Tory government who will decimate our public services.
Eddie, Edinburgh, Scotland
Does this mean another rise in National Insurance like last time they made the exact same promise on Income Tax?
This manifesto is sensible, achievable and proves that Labour are the only party really committed to social justice, tackling international poverty and reforming the undemocratic House of Lords. It's easy to criticise and make unfounded predictions of tax rises, but with low unemployment and low debt interest Labour can invest without dramatic tax rises. It's easy at this stage to forget the government's achievements: Labour has helped many of the worst off since 1997, and has invested in our public services.
George Owers, Chelmsford, UK
Why nothing about pensions? Seems that both the Tories and Labour have no policies regarding pensions despite the ongoing scandal and constant hand-wringing by politicians. Surely the electorate is entitled to know what the next government plans to do in this crucial area.
Eamon Dyas, London
The only thing the Labour Party has delivered is waste. The Tories made some mistakes in the late 1980s, but after 18 years the economy was in far better shape than the mess they inherited in 1979. New Labour's record couldn't be any more different. Vote Conservative.
People deserve everything they get in the way of tax rises if they vote for this lot again!
Paul, Watford, England
I have seen the manifesto and the pledge for no income tax rise is good. But National Insurance has swung me; I will not be voting Labour this time. So for the first time in my voting life I believe I will not be voting for the winning party, unless millions believe the same as me that they will increase NI. This could be the Tories' golden egg, late Easter present, maybe?
Bill Gray, Aberdeen, Scotland
I am married with children but isn't it about time that child allowance was scrapped? If you can't afford to bring up children you shouldn't have them. Why not instead of giving out different amounts to loads of people, give free school uniform that has to be signed for, free school dinners and free school milk. That way the children get the benefit and it is not frittered away.
Paul Morgan, Huntingdon, England
Keep up the good work. Two terms of hard work for a fairer Britain. I'm proud of what's been achieved - better public services with a stable economy. You deserve a third term.
Michael, London, UK
Wonderful, but don't people realise that a Labour manifesto is not worth the paper it's printed on. I seem to remember the last Labour manifesto promised no student tuition fees.
So, more of the same from New Labour. Simple choice for many, are you happy with the last eight years or not? If not, vote Conservative and if you are, vote for Labour. The normal hard working taxpayer won't be better off under Labour, that is for sure based on this manifesto.
Yet more taxes for worsening services and to create a banana republic. I am applying for jobs abroad at the moment. My family and I can't afford another four wasted years of Labour government to add to Labour's eight wasted years of high taxation, crumby public transport, killer hospitals and failing schools.
The economy underpins everything else that is being debated in this election, and we have the best person to run that economy - Gordon Brown. If the Tories get in, how much will we be paying in interest rates and how may people will default as they no longer have a job.
I think that the pledge not to raise income tax is an insult to people's intelligence! Just remember the National Insurance increase.
It all sounds very familiar. A re-hash of previous targets, wish lists and directives. I'm still waiting for education, the health service and law and order issues from previous manifestos to be realised.
Terence Goode, Saffron Walden, Essex
Labour's pledge to hold the basic and higher levels of income tax are meaningless without similar pledges in respect of NI and tax thresholds; an omission which makes one even more suspicious of Labour's plans.
James, Hatfield, Herts
I used to be a Labour supporter but am now fed up with being 'stealth-taxed' to death. Yet again we hear "We won't raise taxes", but yet again they say nothing about NI. I don't feel anything has been greatly improved in the last eight years but I'm worse off. I think the Conservative Party should be given a chance. There is no way they can go back to what Labour harp on about as 'the dark old days' and survive for more than one term.
Dan Wellings, Lordswood, Kent
Remember their manifesto pledge not to legislate to introduce top-up tuition fees? Or wait - was it a promise?
So that's the Labour manifesto is it? OK then, two weeks in I am not convinced that Labour have discredited the Tory economic plans. The absence of any mention of National Insurance screams out 'tax hike looming' to me. Plus let's not forget Mr Blair's position on Iraq. Having been a Labour Party member for 14 years I can say only one thing - Please vote Conservative.
This is a bold, comprehensive and competent manifesto, which contrasts sharply with the Tories' sloganeering and builds on Labour's considerable achievements since 1997.
It seems to me a more honest approach to government than the Tories. It isn't based on fear and popular tabloid headlines like the Tories.
This manifesto has just decided where my vote is going. To the Conservatives. Comments such as 'irreversible changes' and 'social justice' scare me to the bone. This means more taxes to fund even more spending and the eventual bankruptcy of the country.
Alan, Midlands, UK
What we need to do is check the 1997 and 2001 manifestos. That will show that taxes will go up and the manifesto is only serving the elections and nothing else.
Theo, Uxbridge, UK
The Labour Party deserves another term. The Tories want low taxes. How are they going to pay for it without raising taxes? But they will cut public spending. The Liberal Democrats cannot make up their minds on issues.
Hollie Price, Barry, Wales
This manifesto is a disgrace. Labour has absolutely no right to call an election now, given its failure to complete anything they promised. Would you allow a schoolchild to hand their homework in incomplete?
Andrew, London, UK
I think Labour should win this election, if only so they can see the fruits of their economic foolery crash on their heads; they were handed what was arguably an economic miracle by the Tories, and they've made the poorest of the people suffer under it, and that, by most peoples standards, is just wrong. I hope New Labour's reputation gets a nation-sized black mark on it.
Richard Thorne, Bournemouth, UK
Once again it is what Labour do not say rather that what they do say (and then fail to deliver) that is important. Nothing on NI, VAT, inheritance tax, taxation on the sale of one's main home etc. As with all previous Labour governments it is just tax and spend! No thanks!!!
Andy D, Oxford, UK
My issue with the manifesto is that it does not raise the top rate of income tax - the sensible and progressive way of raising money for public service investment. Raising NI, which they will likely do after the election, is an unfair, non-progressive tax. However, at least their proposals are costed and realistic, while the Tories hope to win on the back of tabloid scaremongering on immigration and fantasy economics. Labour is still the only game in town.
TG, London, UK
What is it with Gordon Brown and his obsession with "hard working families"? A lot of working families I know are quite lazy really!
No plans to increase tax? Where have we heard that before? Hearing Labour ministers try to say that National Insurance isn't a tax on income is laughable. I'll be voting Conservative, if only on tax.
Whilst we are all sick to the back teeth of the increasing tax burden. The majority of mortgage payers would rather have the current situation than extortionate interest rates!
Nigel Bradshaw, Blaydon, UK
Surely the fact that they have not mentioned National Insurance is a clear enough indicator that they either intend to put it up or change the upper limit on employee contributions.
With the ever increasing cost of living, such as house prices rising at 23%, a hike in any form of tax, whether VAT or NI or petrol, will cause major problems for most of the country. Most people's wages are rising on average at 3%. We cannot afford to live in the country anymore, and the young people have absolutely no chance of making a successful life for themselves in the current economic conditions.
I expected Labour to come out with a true election winning manifesto, but all I see is talk and waffle, with no plan of how they are actually going to achieve their aims. The Conservative manifesto is clear and understandable. It's clear which party will be talking and which will be acting. Are you thinking what I am thinking?
Jon, London, UK
At last a manifesto that is not pie in the sky, pretty basic but considering the firm base that they have built over the last eight years, this can only increease the countries stability and raise the whole nations standard of living!
We are still waiting for the 1997 manifesto to be implemented. Why should we believe this one?
John Neary, Dukinfield, UK
The manifesto sounds good - but so did all the others. The news on income tax is good, but so were the previous statements. We have now learned that what matters is what is not said - and we just know we cannot trust them to be honest - what other taxes will be imposed instead? Council tax? NI? Capitals gains tax on homes? Sorry, trust is my major issue and they have lost me on this factor.
Under New Labour the rich have gotten richer, and many of the poor poorer. The burden of taxation (in its many forms) is disproportionately drawing resources from the middle class and poor. Lib Dems seem to have a better attitude. At this point they've got my vote.
Dennis Oliver, Middlesbrough (Port Clarence), UK
Labour is building on a secure base, providing opportunities for the many not the few. Voting for other parties puts at risk all the gains of recent years - eg economic stability, minimum wage, increased investment and improving standards in health and education.
Colin, Kingston, Surrey
What a long-winded way of saying: "taxes will go up".
Richard Atkins, Wortham, UK
Did I miss it? Did the printers leave a page out? Does the manifesto really ignore the serious threat to this country that is climate change? Does the manifesto have nothing to say about protecting the natural environment we all depend upon? People and planet precede profit, Tony.
David Hand, Manchester, England
I support the Labour manifesto and agree with their policies and action plans. I trust Labour.
Nayrim Buhan, Aberdeen, Scotland
With all the spending commitments there are in Tony Blair's big red book its as certain as day following night that taxes will rise if Tony Blair is re-elected and not a little but a lot.
Jack Stone, Southend
Labour may not raise income tax but they will tax just about everything else. They have already taxed pension growth and raised corporate National Insurance, and stamp duty. They will surely raise taxes somewhere!
Simon Ward, Watford, UK
No income tax rises. So what! The burden of taxation will just continue to rise and shift to National Insurance and indirect taxes continuing the existing trend. I believe we have a responsibility to reject these pledges on the grounds that they just fundamentally miss the point! Income tax is becoming less and less relevant as an indicator whilst the overall system of taxation becomes ever more complicated.
Ian Wyness, London
Based on previous New Labour pledges, this means 'we will raise everything else, plus introduce some taxes you have not even thought of yet'. Will politicians never learn?
Graham Morris, Wiltshire, UK
Certainly Labour will not increase income tax as they have promised. However watch out for other forms. Taxes on petrol, housing taxes, water taxes, etc.
Are we supposed to fall for this a third time? Do they expect us to believe this tax pledge? Okay, no rises in income tax but plenty of more increase on tax on your income, you can be sure of it. I don't know how they can keep a straight face. Huge personal debt, massive balance of payments deficit, black hole in the finances, what is this great job Gordon has done?
I'm sure income tax won't rise under Labour, just as I am sure that almost every other tax will. They must think we're all daft to have not noticed this was exactly what they said the other two times.
I'm sure income tax won't rise under Labour, just as I am sure that almost every other tax will
Dom Brady, Southampton
Coming up to the elections, the Labour Party suddenly comes up with these manifestos. Some of these ideas are good ones and we could have done with them a few years ago. Why must Labour wait until an election to try and do something useful? Why not do their jobs even when they are not being judged?
Kira Hopkins, London, UK
Changes lasting "for all time" in a global context at least, are very dangerous. When our industry already has to compete with cheap labour costs in Asia and closer to home, Eastern Europe all the current red tape and costs (never mind any future tax raids) means UK Inc already has to contest for market share with one hand behind their back. Applying a Social Chapter with a limit on working hours among other things the EU has brought in has not helped them, and with 1 million manufacturing jobs lost here since 1997, any recent UK initiatives have not helped us! The economy needs to remain flexible.
Labour deserves another term. Right now the timing of the election couldn't be any better, we are on the cusp of an economic depression, the fruits of Labour's eight years of economic mismanagement. It would be unfair for a Conservative (or otherwise) government to take the blame for the approaching years of economic misery we have coming to us.
I think that this manifesto is more honest and more achievable than the Tories' or the Lib Dems'. Less well off people have really gained under this government and those that have a comfy life should think about those with less for a change.
So basic rate and top rate of tax will stay the same. Good to see Labour sticking to their principles! I'm just surprised they didn't say they are opposed to raising taxes, and they will legislate against it.
Duncan Morley, Brighton, UK
We have heard Labour's pledge not to raise taxes once too often in my opinion. It is time that they stood up to see the light and speak the truth about what they would do if re-elected.
John Beckett, St Helier, England
Labour target tax cuts for families and at the same time they are revaluing houses to raise the council tax that we pay by as much as 30%.
M Murphy, Wigan, UK
Labour pledge no increase in income tax. Does this mean NI and VAT will rise? Will personal allowance decrease or even disappear? Will stamp duty and inheritance tax rise?
I am astonished that the war in Iraq is not mentioned. Surely, the loss of human life, and the huge financial cost involved must be a priority??
This is supposed to be the most ambitious New Labour manifesto yet. But if they have not managed to live up to the promises of the last two, what's the point?
Tony B, Uckfield
Labour have only kept to their previous manifestos at best in a selective way. Whatever it says, why should we believe them? It reminds me of Animal Farm where the pledges change overnight.
So when is Labour going to deliver its first five pledges? After eight years we seem to be taxed to the bone and still it makes no difference to frontline services. After this election, if Labour win, we will be forced to pay even more tax for these new pledges.
Chris Kisch, Milton Keynes, UK
Why is it that the Labour Party continues to disappoint? They set up expert commissions to recommend policy, and then either ignore or emasculate their professional findings. Their failure to accept the latest report on education, which had widespread backing by almost all who know about these things, is typical. It was rejected through simple prejudice - Tony knows best. He doesn't.
Tony Stowell, Tetbury, Glos
Excellent! Sensible policies for a better future for us all, not just an elite few, based on hard fact, not tabloid rhetoric or scaring old and vulnerable people half to death.
To claim economic stability is a joke. The economy is already beginning to falter as debt reaches saturation and chokes off consumer demand. Increased bureaucracy has made Britain less competitive internationally. To cap it all under Labour we have burdened ourselves with hundreds of thousands of more public sector workers and their unrealistic pay and pensions.
Ian, Baildon, UK
The Labour manifesto can be summed up as taxes, taxes, taxes. Higher national insurance, higher unemployment (over last four months), higher bureaucracy and waste, higher interest rates, higher crime. Labour does not deserve to govern, vote Conservative.
Andrew Moore, West Sussex
The size of the Labour manifesto is probably indicative of the size of their (unspoken) tax rises. Can't wait!
Scott, Bournemouth, Dorset
Let us be clear, this is an increase in tax manifesto, direct or by stealth. Do well, be penalised under Labour.
Gary Lister, Waltham, UK