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Hague: Labour's second term tax hike

Speaking in Newbury, the Rt Hon William Hague MP, Leader of the Conservative Party:

"Labour 'have no plans to increase taxes at all'. That is what Tony Blair said before the last election. Another promise made, another promise broken.

"Yesterday, I challenged him to repeat the same promise during this election. He declined. That is scarcely surprising, given his record.

"In four years, Labour have increased taxes massively by stealth. They have done it in ways which have hit the poorest hardest.

"And of all Labour's stealth taxes, it is the tax on petrol that is the most unfair, most indiscriminate and most widely hated. It hits parents and pensioners, rural dwellers and disabled people regardless of their ability to pay. For many their car is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

"Now we are told that Tony Blair is set to make another empty pledge, not to raise the top rate of income tax. With his record this just means he would impose more stealth taxes by the back door.

"In fact he has no choice. Labour cannot afford to meet their spending promises without taxing people more. You don't have to take our word for it.

"Labour are currently spending money faster than taxpayers can earn it. This can only mean one thing. If they were to go on at this rate over the next four years we would have to pay more in taxes, £10 billion more according to independent experts. That's the equivalent of putting petrol up to £6.00 a gallon or £1.30 a litre.

"With violent crime rising, waiting lists longer, secondary class sizes bigger and our asylum system in chaos, Tony Blair now says he wants a second chance.

"A second chance to break his promises, a second chance to increase taxes by stealth.

"The country cannot afford another four years of Labour."

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