Voting for a New Britain: Campaigns Briefing 7 Days to Go

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The Independent Online
LABOUR HAS buried a study revealing the costs of using private finance to build new schools and hospitals, the Scottish National Party said. Government sources denied the charge, saying the report from the head of London Transport, Sir Malcolm Bates, was put on hold to avoid unfairly influencing the electorate.

THE CONSERVATIVES launched a new attack on higher fuel taxes introduced in the budget. David McLetchie, the Scottish Tory leader, said the taxes would hit motorists and businesses.

THE LIBERAL Democrats produced figures showing that two-thirds of families in Scottish rural areas lived on less than pounds 200 per week. They faced higher living costs and a Labour-dominated parliament would not meet their needs, the party said.

ALEX SALMOND, the Scottish National Party leader, promised pounds 24m for rural businesses including pounds 9m to offset the cost of extra fuel taxes and pounds 15m to create jobs.

DAVID BLUNKETT, the Secretary of State for Education, spent the day in Edinburgh visiting schools.

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