Wednesday, 13 April 2005

New Labour launch manifesto

Blair and the Cabinet launched the Labour party's manifesto for the 5th May poll today.

His programme for a third term includes a pledge not to increase the basic or top rate of income tax, but says nothing about National Insurance.

So it may be likely that all of our NI contributions could rise within the next four/five years.

After eight years in power, Mr Blair says he is fighting his last election.

I can recall an interview last year in which he stated this (or at least that a third Labour term would be his last). The evident question must be when (if during a third term) Gordon Brown can replace Blair as PM and Labour party leader.

The manifesto can be read here. A cursory glance at it denotes the continuation of more big government in this country. I support the creation of an inflation target of 2% and further reform of the House of Lords. Nonetheless, all other aspects of this manifesto simply will increase the size and scope of government. As a libertarian, I cannot in good conscience vote for a party determined to inflate the state in such a manner.

If Blair steps down during a third term, then this big government manifesto would continue to be implemented under a Brown premiership (or whoever becomes the Labour leader after Blair resigns). Still, I can hope that one day (hopefully in the near future) that the decades long trend towards larger government can be halted and reversed.