Labour set to exploit Budget tax increases

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LABOUR IS TO exploit growing antagonism towards Budget tax changes in a new year campaign, with a 'knock-out' blow timed for when people open their post-5 April payslips.

It will also launch an employment rights campaign highlighting rights at work, health and safety and the benefits of the Social Chapter - causes around which it hopes to increase membership through the pounds 3 top-up scheme for trade unionists who pay the political levy.

Buoyed by Tuesday's ICM poll showing that the Budget was far less popular in the country than among Tory backbenchers, John Smith, the Labour leader, told yesterday's weekly Parliamentary Labour Party meeting that the campaign would 'continually remind people that they would be pounds 10 a week worse off in 1994 and pounds 16 in 1995'.

Mr Smith is to tour Britain as part of the campaign to create maximum political impact in the run-up to district and London borough elections in May, and European Parliament elections in June. The Labour leader plans to turn the Tories' 1992 'Labour's tax bombshell' election slogan on its head.