Labour and Tories set out their stalls ahead of election

LABOUR will promise not to increase income tax when it releases its manifesto today, but the party will offer no such guarantees on VAT.

Energy secretary Ed Miliband, who authored the document, said there would be no “big spending commitments” in light of the country’s huge £170bn budget deficit.

However, Labour’s manifesto will contain:

• A pledge to create a new, government-backed “super ISA” scheme, offering high interest rates to savers aged between 18 and 30.

• A commitment to overhaul the takeover code in light of Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury.

• Plans to hold a referendum on voting reform and to overhaul the House of Lords

• A guarantee of a job for all long-term unemployed and a package of help for first time homebuyers.

The Tories, who said that Labour’s manifesto offered proof that it was bereft of new ideas, will release their manifesto tomorrow. It will contain:

• A tax break in the form of a partially transferable personal allowance for married couples and civil partnerships earning under £44,000 each.

• A pledge that everyone will be able to see a doctor in their area seven days a week, 12 hours a day.

• A promise to provide more funding to frontline troops in Afghanistan.

Details of plans to sell discounted shares in part-nationalised RBS and Lloyds when they are eventually re-privatised.

• A reduction in the headline rate of corporation tax from 28 to 25p.