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Sunday, 1 April, 2001, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Defining the economic issues

Dharshini David, the BBC's economic reporter looks at the state of the UK's economy.

The economy

It is widely accepted that the economy is in a good state. Unemployment is at a 25 year low and the cost of borrowing and inflation are also down. The challenge for a new government is to keep things that way.

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Standards of living

Although the economy is strong there are still people in the UK living in poverty. There has been increased benefits for families, taxation is lower than the last election and unemployment below one million for the first time in decades, but are you better off?

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Taxation

A penny off the basic rate of income tax is a popular pre-election bonus but should the government go even further? And what about tax on fuel? Should the government keep fuel taxes high or should they bow to public pressure and reduce the burden?

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Public spending

Every year the government spends more than 300bn on public services and there's even more money in the pipeline earmarked for long term projects. Transport, the NHS and the education sector are the key cash-guzzlers, but how would you distribute the cash between them?

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