Portillo pledges tax cuts of up to £8bn

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Indy Politics

The Tories plan to go into the next election pledging up to £8bn of tax cuts while matching Labour's spending plans in their first year of government.

The Tories plan to go into the next election pledging up to £8bn of tax cuts while matching Labour's spending plans in their first year of government.

Michael Portillo last night sought to bury Labour claims that the Conservatives are preparing to cut public services by £16bn if they win the next election. The shadow Chancellor promised to maintain Labour spending plans in the first year of a new parliament and increase public spending in a series of government departments.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, Mr Portillo said he would reduce taxes and increase spending on public services. "Some people find it hard to understand that we can offer increases in public spending but reduce taxes," he said. "It is economic growth that makes it possible."

Mr Portillo's disclosure of his plans comes as the Chancellor prepares to announce a package of public spending designed to boost the incomes of poorer households and single parents. Gordon Brown in his mini-Budget, will signal increases in the working families tax credit and help for single mothers.

Mr Portillo indicated that he would not introduce a shadow Budget before the next election because it would focus public attention on Tory policies rather than Labour's economic record.

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