Brown vows no rise in base tax rate
Labour will keep the basic rate of income tax at 20p for the whole of the next parliament if it wins the general election on May 6, Prime Minister Gordon Brown indicated yesterday.
The promise is expected to be a key pledge in Labour's manifesto, expected to be approved by the party's National Executive Committee tomorrow for publication next week.
The move will put pressure on the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats over whether they too can make similar promises at a time when all parties agree that Britain must rein in its massive state deficit.
Mr Brown said: "The income tax rate has come down from 23p to 20p and we have kept it a 20p and that is what we will pledge to do in our manifesto."
Labour pledged at each of the last three elections not to increase income tax rates, but was accused of breaking its promise when it introduced a new 50p top rate on high earners which came into effect this week.
Mr Brown defended the move during the interview on Channel 4 News.