Cameron vows to ease death taxes and help savers as campaign turns positive…

MANIFESTO money“David Cameron set out a vision of the ‘Conservative dream’ yesterday as a pledge to lift everyone except millionaires out of inheritance tax energised his party’s election campaign. He said Labour ‘just don’t get or respect’ the instincts of millions of working people to get ‘a promotion, a new car or bigger home and pass something on to their children’. By contrast, the Conservatives ‘see someone working hard to build a good life and we say – we’ll cut your taxes; see savers who have made sacrifices and say – we’ll let you pass that on’.” – Daily Mail


  • End to the hated tax that hurts middle-income families – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
  • Welfare reform is working for everyone – Matt Ridley, The Times (£) 
  • Nine ideas to rejig the Tory election campaign – Tim Montgomerie, Times Red Box



  • He had the look of a jogger mid-marathon – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: The Conservatives will take the family home out of inheritance tax

…as Osborne is pressed on NHS funding

“George Osborne was challenged 18 times yesterday to explain where the next Tory government would find the extra £8billion it has promised the NHS. During tense exchanges with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, the Chancellor repeatedly ducked questions about exactly how the massive cash boost would be paid for. Mr Osborne said it would come from the Conservatives’ ‘balanced plan’ for the economy, but declined to go into further detail.” – Daily Mail

  • Marr’s spat with the Chancellor, word for word – The Independent
  • Osborne warns voters not to let Labour in by backing protest parties – The Sun (£)
  • Tories fail to win trust over the future of the NHS – The Times (£)


  • NHS spending and inheritance tax – who won the weekend? – Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph


  • Balanced and sensible, with plenty of peradventure – Ann Treneman, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Osborne discusses his Long-Term Economic Plan

Boris Johnson: Inheritance tax should not be inflicted on ordinary families

BORIS blue and red“Hooray. Great move, Blue team! At last we are doing something to end the unfairness of a tax that has crept up on countless ordinary families. By cutting inheritance tax on family homes the Conservatives are promising to help vast numbers of people who were being clobbered by a phenomenon over which they had absolutely no control and for which they could not be blamed – the irresistible appreciation in the value of their homes… In London and the South East particularly, this tax has been hurting people in average homes – and I mean average homes.” – Daily Telegraph

Bridgen welcomes plan to crack down on health tourism

“Patients will have to take their passport to hospital as part of a clampdown on health tourism. For the first time, hospitals are being told to ensure everyone proves they are entitled to free NHS treatment. The measures are part of a Government drive to stop migrants and tourists abusing the Health Service, which costs up to £2billion a year.” – Daily Mail

IFS attacks Labour and Tory tax proposals

money“Tax proposals being put forward by both main parties risk having a ‘long term malign influence’ on the economy, a respected independent think-tank has warned. The Institute for Fiscal Studies was particularly scathing about rival Conservative and Labour plans to cut pensions tax relief for those with incomes above £150,000. While they would affect a small number of the best-off, both proposals ‘have the potential to be complex, damaging and counter-productive’, said the IFS.” – Daily Mail

  • Greens want top rate of 60 per cent – Daily Mail

Labour put economic credibility at heart of campaign with borrowing ban…

“Ed Miliband is set to promise to put economic credibility at the heart of Labour’s programme for government as tensions rise in the closest general election campaign in a generation. He will try to break with Labour’s past – and will risk disappointing his party’s left wing, as well as potential allies in a hung parliament – with a guarantee that every policy commitment will be fully funded and not require borrowing.” – The Independent


  • It’s a lie to say the Tories rescued the economy – Richard Layard, The Times (£)

…but small businesses warn Miliband would be a disaster

MILIBAND Red Ed“Ed Miliband was last night panned by 100 hard-working entrepreneurs — hours before making his biggest pitch yet for No10. In an open letter for The Sun, the small firm bosses, including former Labour voters said the Labour chief, who launches his manifesto today, would be a disaster for business. And they praise the PM and George Osborne for engineering an economic comeback that gives them confidence for the future. In the letter, the 100 say: “For Britain to boom, we must nurture ambition and celebrate success. Labour policies of high taxes will not achieve these aims.”” – The Sun (£)

>Today: Cllr John Wall in Comment: Labour is coming after your home

>Yesterday: LeftWatch: Miliband’s abandoned NHS spending pledge shows the errors at the heart of Labour’s thinking

Trevor Kavanagh: Devious Ed’s not worth Tory panic

“So how do things stand after a week of screaming and shouting over the NHS, tax cuts and welfare? Rattled Tories, led by Cpl Liam “Don’t Panic” Fox, say David Cameron must raise his game. Campaign mastermind Lynton Crosby is under pressure to liven things up. But the Wizard of Oz thinks the Tories are just about where he wants them to be. The economy, jobs and prosperity will be the deciding factor. Voters already fear a fragile, union-dominated Labour regime propped up by Nicola Sturgeon’s rampaging left-wing Scottish nationalists.” – The Sun (£)

>Today: ToryDiary: The polls: a snapshot of snapshots

Clegg sets out Liberal Democrat plan to balance the books

Libdem bird vs TORY“Conservative plans to raise billions of pounds from the ‘grubby hands of scroungers’ will not work, Nick Clegg warned today as he unveiled Lib Dem plans to balance the books. The Lib Dem leader promised to ‘spread the burden’ of deficit reduction, with cuts to welfare and Whitehall budgets along with tax rises aimed at the very wealthy. Car tax would rise by £25-a-year. But he scaled back his plans for a mansion tax, amid concern it could cost the party support in key seats in affluent parts of London.” – Daily Mail

Farage urges supporters to vote Tory where UKIP can’t win

“He said his backers must ‘use their votes as wisely as they can’ and that he wanted to see the Tories end up as the largest party in the Commons. Mr Farage also appeared to concede he had made a mistake by pledging to stand down if he fails to win South Thanet, Kent, where he is trying to be elected as an MP for the first time. A leaked survey commissioned by Ukip suggested the Tories have a narrow lead in the seat, which has been visited in recent days by ministers including Elizabeth Truss and Patrick McLoughlin.” – Daily Mail

  • …and suggests introducing A&E charges for drunks who are repeat visitors – Daily Mail
  • UKIP scramble to drum up small business support – The Guardian
  • Polish prince challenges Farage to duel over immigration – The Independent


  • Will Farage turn out to be a mirage in South Thanet? – Zoe Williams, The Guardian

Sturgeon dismisses potential £7.6bn Scottish funding shortfall as ‘irrelevant’

SNP logo white background“A potential economic short-fall of £7.6bn that would face a Scottish government given full control of tax and spending by Westminster, has been described as “irrelevant” by Nicola Sturgeon. The SNP leader dismissed recent independent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) as “snap-shot, one year figure” and insisted the scale of the deficit should not mean Scotland was denied full control of its own economy.” – The Independent

  • Murphy and Sturgeon clash on the economy in TV debate – The Guardian
  • First Minister refuses to rule out second referendum in the next Parliament – Daily Telegraph
  • Tactical voting group seeks to prevent Nationalist landslide – Financial Times


  • The SNP are the real social democrats – Nicola Sturgeon, The Independent


News in Brief:

  • Hidden speed cameras could be scrapped whoever wins the election – Daily Mail
  • Business chiefs support Britain’s place in the EU – Financial Times
  • Seven charts reveal Clinton’s strengths and weaknesses in White House run – The Independent
  • Report claims Islamists are setting up anti-British schools – Daily Telegraph
  • US government report claims waning UK defence spending calls special relationship into question – The Times (£)
  • Planners call for new garden cities – Financial Times
  • Turkey to deport councillor’s son after failed bid to enter Syria – The Guardian
  • Meet the would-be female MP who wants to jail gay people, ban rock music, and abolish feminism – Belfast Telegraph

And finally… puppy deemed security risk to the Prime Minister

“An eight-month-old puppy was barred from getting too close to David Cameron after bizarrely being deemed a security risk, it has been reported. The Prime Minister’s aides reportedly ordered that the terrier must be kept well away from the Conservative Party leader. Owner Sarah Styler, 49, waited to speak to Mr Cameron outside a church hall in Cheltenham where he gave a speech about inheritance tax.” – Daily Telegraph

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