Tax and spending dominate final pre-poll PMQs

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown and David Cameron today traded blows on tax and spending as they clashed for the final time in Prime Minister's Questions before the country goes to the polls on 6 May.

The Conservative leader said Labour would "wreck" the economic recovery with their planned increase in national insurance contributions.



The Prime Minister retorted with a warning that Tory spending cuts would threaten vital public services.



"We can put national insurance up and therefore protect our schools, our hospitals and our policing, or we can do what the Conservatives traditionally do and that is put our hospitals, police and our health service at risk," Mr Brown said.



Mr Cameron however said another 30 business leaders had come out in support of the Tory plan to reverse part of the national insurance rise due in April through £6 billion in efficiency savings.



"This Prime Minister would wreck the recovery by putting a tax on every job, on everyone earning over £20,000, a tax on aspiration, a tax on every business in the country," he said.





In a wide-ranging attack on Mr Brown's record, Mr Cameron accused him of robbing pension funds and failing to provide sufficient helicopters for British troops fighting in Afghanistan.

He dismissed Mr Brown's assertion that the Government had always provided military commanders on the ground with the equipment they needed to carry out operations.



"Why should anyone believe this Prime Minister when he was the first in history to go in front of a public inquiry and not give accurate information about defence spending?" he said, in reference to Mr Brown's evidence to the Iraq Inquiry.



the Prime Minister however repeatedly turned to the issue of the Conservatives' plans for public spending cuts this year, warning that they would undermine the economic recovery.



"To withdraw £6 billion from the recovery now would put jobs at risk, put businesses at risk, put growth at risk. We cannot cut our way to recovery but we could cut our way to double-dip recession," he said.



"The public must make up their mind, do they want the public services to be maintained or do they want the traditional Tory policy of putting the public services at risk?"

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