Labour manifesto: Responses

See all the political responses to Labour's 2010 election manifesto.

Andrew Lansley, shadow health secretary

"It is absolutely typical of the Labour party to abuse the NHS for political advantage. This is a hospital paid for by the taxpayer, which Gordon Brown described as an NHS hospital and will serve NHS patients in a matter of weeks.

"Labour have exploited a loophole in the law so that they can exploit the NHS, which is supposed to serve everyone in the country not serve as a prop for Gordon Brown.

"But Labour's scaremongering won't work. The NHS is our number one priority. It is the Conservative party - not Labour - which is committed to increasing spending on the NHS. Labour plan to cut the NHS capital budget by £700 million which will mean fewer hospitals being built if they are re-elected."

Danny Alexander, chief of staff to Lib dem leader Nick Clegg

"Every Labour manifesto since 1997 has been full of promises they have broken. They simply can't be trusted to do a single thing they say.

"The tax system is less fair than when Labour came to power.

"The only party that is committed to making Britain fairer is the Liberal Democrats."

Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru's director of elections

"After over a decade in power during which Labour has failed the most vulnerable in our communities, this could have been their last chance to make amends. And they've blown it. They've ignored the fact that older people in our communities cannot afford to live on the current level of state pension, just like they've ignored the fact that Wales is severely underfunded by Westminster.

"Instead New Labour chooses to continue Blair's conservative agenda - bringing the private sector into public services and doing all they can to woo the voters of south-east England. It's more of the same from a party that has betrayed its supporters and failed those who need government's help the most.

"This is a 'Carry-on regardless' manifesto from the party which has led us into the deepest economic crisis in living memory. This leaves Plaid as the only party in Wales standing up for the needs of the most vulnerable in our communities."

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison

"Labour's manifesto sets out serious plans for supporting the economy and dealing with the deficit through steady economic growth and fair taxation, and is in stark contrast to Tory gimmicks and Draconian cuts.

"There are commitments to protect funding for key public services like the NHS, schools, Sure Start and policing. This funding will be critical for supporting jobs, underpinning the economic recovery and improving life for working families.

"The manifesto gives real hope to the unemployed, the low paid, and young people, through its Future Jobs Fund, apprenticeship schemes, Living Wage policies and guaranteed increases to the national minimum wage.

"It is good to see recognition that the best way to improve the NHS is to engage staff and share good practice, rather than Conservative plans to let market forces rip. However, Foundation Trusts have not proven to be accountable to the public and patients have suffered as a result. The promise of Foundation status has led some Trusts to concentrate on cost cutting at the expense of patient care.

"The manifesto talks about clamping down on the bankers, but we would have liked a clearer commitment to a 'Robin Hood' tax on financial transactions, as well as other measures to ensure that the British public never again have to pay the price for the greed and folly of the financial sector.

"We welcome Labour's confirmation that public sector pensions are secure and sustainable unlike inflammatory, misleading statements from the Tories and Liberal Democrats.

"Public sector workers and the people who rely on public services, should not be made to the price of the financial crisis. We will continue to resist cuts to jobs, pay, services and privatisation that would hurt the most vulnerable in our society and threaten the longer-term strength and prosperity of the country."

Mark Littlewood, director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs

"Labour's plans announced today stand in stark contrast to the devolution necessary to improve public services. Guarantees and targets such as personal tuition for struggling primary school pupils, 1,000 federated schools by 2015 and 'fathers' month', are the polar opposite of a system led by those using it.

"If Labour is serious about transforming the standard of service provision the public receives, it should give people direct control over where their children go to school or how their healthcare is delivered. The system needs turning on its head. It's those who use the services that best understand what they need and when those providing it are failing.

"Overall, these plans equate to centralised bureaucracy-led aims and objectives, not individual empowerment.

"There has never been a time when drastic reform of public services was so necessary. Giving more power to those in Whitehall will only make government more expensive. Labour has said it won't raise income taxes, but in order to pay for these reforms it will need to get the money from somewhere else."

Dorcas Erskine, head of public affairs at ActionAid

"The Labour party manifesto promises a future fair for all and there are a number of measures that are a step in the right direction.

"ActionAid was pleased to see continued commitment to reaching our global aid promises and tackling corporate tax evasion. A pledge to create a supermarket watchdog could also ensure farmers in poor countries are protected from unfair trade practices.

"But on the eve of the closest election in a generation, Labour should have tried to go further. There was a golden opportunity here to lead the world by promising a Robin Hood tax on banks.

"The proposed tax in the manifesto does not say exactly how it will generate enough money to tackle poverty and climate change both here and abroad. This is the key question that the 150,000 supporters of the Robin Hood tax are waiting for all parties to answer."