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RECORD VIEW: On a winner.

CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown has set the countdown clock ticking for the General Election with his announcement of a Budget on March 7.

We already know he will be in a giveaway mood because he has told us to expect targeted tax cuts aimed at pensioners, savers and families.

But he would not be Gordon Brown, the well-known political and economic conjurer, if he did not pull a few more early Easter bunnies out of his hat.

With a surplus somewhere between pounds 10billion and pounds 15billion, he certainly has enough money in the kitty to be a bit more generous.

He is being inundated with advice and appeals for help but we have a few more helpful hints for a People's Budget.

What ordinary people want to see is still more help for pensions, to wipe away once and for all the memory of the 75p "insult", another increase in the children's tax credit to help working families, and a broadening of the 10p tax band to help low wage earners.

Also, a swingeing windfall tax on the fat-cat oil companies would bring cheers from motorists who are being held to ransom at the pumps, while BP makes nearly pounds 3billion profit in three months.

He should go ahead with concessions on fuel and road tax not just to silence the fuel lobby, but because the country needs them.

His Budget will be followed by a further lowering of interest rates, meaning cheaper mortgages, another drop in unemployment to bring it below the magic million and more good news on inflation.

Hey presto! The election is in the bag.
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Title Annotation:Leader
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 15, 2001
Words:269
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