Howard makes election pledge to 'forgotten majority'

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Michael Howard, the Conservative party leader, on Tuesday unveiled his election manifesto by pledging to rescue Britain's "forgotten majority" by lowering taxes.

Mr Howard used a speech in Northamptonshire to set out the Tories platform for the election - widely expected for May this year - by appealing to people "who work hard but see too much of their money taken in tax".

The Tory leader promised to provide value for money for taxpayers by spending on priority areas such as schools and hospitals and to lower taxes. He refused to give specific details on cuts, instead promising to lower taxes "when we can".

He repeated pledges to cut crime and attacked ‘big government’, saying a Conservative government would “give power to the people” and “reduce the number of politicians”.

The Labour party dismissed the manifesto as “Thatcherism in instalments”. Alan Milburn, the party’s election co-ordinator , on Tuesday said that “The first sentence of any Tory manifesto should be an apology to Britain’s hard-working families for the Tory failed past of boom and bust, mortgage misery and cuts to schools, hospitals and the police.”

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