Labour manifesto to pledge volunteer tax breaks

Volunteers would receive tax breaks in a Labour third term, it was reported on Monday.

The Guardian said that Labour's manifesto, expected to be launched today, promises a discount on council tax bills for carers and people who volunteer in their local communities.

The proposal would be part of a push to create a culture of active citizenship in the UK. It was not confirmed or denied by the Labour Party as Third Sector went to press.

The Liberal Democrats had to postpone their manifesto launch after Charles Kennedy joined his pregnant wife in hospital.

In its manifesto, launched this week, the Conservative Party reiterates its plans to abolish the Big Lottery Fund. It pledges that charity, the arts, heritage and sport would each receive 25 per cent of lottery funding after current licences expire in 2009. This would provide more than £4bn over seven years.

"Public confidence in the lottery has been undermined by politically correct grant awards and Labour's misuse of lottery funds," says the manifesto.

The Tories also say they would give buyers of lottery tickets more say about where lottery money is spent.

They also commit to tackling climate change by phasing out the use of harmful hydrofluorocarbons, lowering the Vehicle Excise Duty for less polluting cars and halting Labour's development plans for the green belt in the south-east.

- See Election '05, page 9.

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