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Gordon Brown sang the praises of Labour's management of the economy while announcing a modest boost in spending for pensioners and motorists.
He said the UK was the most stable of all the major economies, and maintained his forecast for economic growth of 3-3.5% in 2005 and 2.5-3% in 2006.
Tory leader Michael Howard said that the government was planning an additional £168bn in borrowing over the next five years, and that the only question was which taxes would have to rise - the equivalent of 3p in the pound.