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Summary

  1. Labour previews its manifesto launch, promising no "additional borrowing" to fund pledges
  2. The Conservatives unveil plans to cut inheritance tax on family homes
  3. The Lib Dems set out plans to eliminate the deficit by 2017/18, while the Greens say they would introduce a top tax rate of 60%
  4. Catch-up: Guests on the Andrew Marr Show were George Osborne, Harriet Harman and Natalie Bennett
  5. Catch-up: Sunday Politics Scotland featured a debate between Scotland's main party leaders
  6. There are 25 days left until the general election

Live Reporting

By Kristiina Cooper and Andrew McFarlane

All times stated are UK

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Sunday recap

  • Labour previews its manifesto launch, promising no "additional borrowing" to fund pledges
  • The Conservatives unveil plans to cut inheritance tax on family homes
  • The Lib Dems set out plans to eliminate the deficit by 2017/18, while the Greens say they would introduce a top tax rate of 60%
  • Earlier, Labour had promised to impose bigger fines on people found to be avoiding tax

Conservative response

Despite Labour's pledge not to borrow to fund policy pledges, Conservative Treasury Minister David Gauke insists his rivals have "no plan to clear the deficit" and would have to borrow more.

Even Ed Miliband's own campaign chief admits Labour will borrow more to pay for their unfunded spending promises."

Independent front page

Independent front page
Independent

Latest poll

Labour's manifesto launch comes as the party opens up a three-point lead over the Conservatives, according to the latest YouGov poll for the Sun. It puts Ed Miliband's party on 36%. The poll has UKIP on 13% and the Liberal Democrats on 7%.

Daily Telegraph front page

Daily Telegraph front page, 13/4/15
Daily Telegraph

Sun front page

The Sun front page, 13/4/15
The Sun

Times front page

Times front page, 13/4/15
The Times

Daily Mirror front page

Daily Mirror front page, 13/4/15
Mirror

Guardian front page

Guardian front page, 13/4/15
Guardian

Labour's 'vow' on the nation's finances

Page one of Labour's manifesto, says Ed Miliband, contains a "vow" to protect the nation's finances. Launching the document on Monday he will say Labour is making a "clear commitment" that every policy will be paid for "without a single penny of extra borrowing".

And he will accuse the Conservatives of "throwing spending promises around" with no idea where the money is coming from. He will call the promises "unfunded, unfair and unbelievable".

Labour manifesto

Ed Miliband
Getty Images

Labour's big pledge at tomorrow's manifesto launch will be a guarantee that every one of its policies will be funded without "additional borrowing".

The party is also pledging to cut the fiscal deficit in every year of the next parliament, if it's elected in May.

But if there are to be any pre-election sweeteners, the party isn't revealing them yet.

"It isn’t a shopping list of spending policies," according to leader Ed Miliband's script.

9Million Women

@9Millionwomen

tweets :

They'd be amazed that the 9.1M women who could vote in 2010 didn't. Use your vote. They worked hard so you can."

Metro front page

Monday's front pages are starting to arrive - but no mention of Labour's impending manifesto launch on the Metro's cover.

Metro front page
Metro

Victoria Derbyshire, BBC presenter

@vicderbyshire

tweets:

200 voters + 5 politicians + 26 days be4 #GE2015= our 1st big audience debate. 9.15am BBC2, the Channel, @bbc5live

Montage of photographs showing the Victoria Derbyshire election debate set
BBC

Educated?

If you missed BBC Radio 5 live's John Pienaar explaining to Joey Essex the technicalities of hung parliaments earlier, you can catch up thanks to this In Short clip.

The reality TV star - who's following the election campaign for ITV's Educating Joey Essex documentary - revealed he's been unimpressed by some of what he's seen so far.

Joey Essex on BBC Radio 5 live
BBC

I find it crazy, this politician world. You don't expect people to be rude about each other... You would think it would be more professional. They are adults."

Meanwhile, elsewhere

Hillary Clinton
AFP

Believe it or not, life continues away from the UK election campaign. From the US, we have the long-awaited confirmation that Hillary Clinton is to run for the Democratic candidacy in the 2016 presidential race.

A top adviser to the former secretary of state confirmed her plans in an email to supporters. News agencies report that she will "soon" hit the campaign trail in early voting states such as Iowa.

And you thought the campaign here had been going on forever...

Commitment to a cause

A Press Association photographer spotted this member of the public wearing her politics on - or, rather under - her sleeve as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon campaigned in Paisley. Her tattoo reads "The dream shall never die."

A member of the public shows a tattoo that reads "The dream shall never die" as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is on the campaign trail in Paisley
PA

That was also the phrase chosen by former First Minister Alex Salmond as the title for his diaries of the Scottish independence campaign.

Looks painful to us.

George Eaton, political editor, New Statesman

@georgeeaton

tweets :

One explanation for Osborne's unfunded pledges: he knows Lib Dems will force him to introduce tax rises as Tories won't win a majority."

Support one party, vote another?

There has also been much talk of tactical voting in Scotland , where a group of former "No" to independence campaigners are urging voters whose favoured party is an outsider in their constituency to back whichever candidate is most likely to defeat the SNP.

Now the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is pushing voters in the opposite direction. She wants Labour supporters seeking an earlier end to spending cuts to back her party.

"A strong team of SNP MPs holding the balance of power will lock the Tories out of Downing Street, put an end to austerity and ensure the progressive politics Labour supporters hold dear are firmly on Westminster's agenda," she says.

Former Labour MP Dame Anne McGuire retorts: "A vote for any other candidate than the Labour candidate could help the Tories back into government and give Scotland and the UK another five years of austerity."

Tactical voting?

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Nigel Farage is advising UKIP supporters to vote tactically if they live in seats where his party is out of the running.

The paper quotes him dismissing David Cameron's suggestion that UKIP voters should "come home" to the Conservatives but adding: "It's a complex electoral system and people have to use their votes as wisely as they can."

Given Mr Farage's comments that it would be an "infinitely better position" to have an EU in-out referendum under the Tories than a Labour-led government, the Telegraph interprets his stance as urging people to vote Conservative in seats UKIP has no chance of winning.

Inheritance tax plan funding

As we've been reporting, the Conservatives' eye-catching announcement of the day is to raise to £1m the starting point at which inheritance tax is paid on family homes.

How will they fund this tax cut? By increasing the tax paid by people with big pension pots. The Conservatives plan to reduce tax relief on pension contributions on incomes between £150,000 and £210,000. The idea is to cut relief from £40,000 to £10,000.

The director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, says the change will take "really quite large sums away from people earning more than about £150,000 a year".

And he warned it will "probably either reduce the amount of savings in the economy or create a lot of complexity in the savings landscape".

Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror associate editor

tweets :

Miliband's gone from Wallace to Poldark so don't understand why so many Labourites are moaning. Better a stud than a dud"

Actor's backing

Robson Green
BBC

They’ve already got Hobbit Martin Freeman on board and now Labour has got the backing of another actor. Robson Green, the former Soldier Soldier star and one half of 90s novelty pop act, Robson & Jerome, tells PA news he doesn’t believe the party’s policies represent the socialism he grew up with in a “true sense”. But, all the same, he adds: “They believe in something I’m passionate about, which is education, the National Health Service and defence. I’ll vote Labour all the time.”

Clegg avoids Lib Dem bowling gaffe repeat

Nick Clegg, pictured earlier today, looked a bit of a natural at tenpin bowling. Maybe he's been practising - to avoid the embarrassment faced by his predecessor Charles Kennedy when he tried his hand at bowling...

Nick Clegg goes bowling
Sophie Long

Recap - 17:30

After a relatively sleepy Easter break, the parties kicked their campaigns into a higher gear this past week, and today was no exception. Here's some of the things we've covered so far today:

This is Tom Espiner and Adam Donald signing off, leaving you in the capable hands of Kristiina Cooper and Andrew McFarlane for the rest of the evening.

Andrew Neil, Daily Politics presenter

@afneil

tweets :

Daily Politics mug for first Tory/Lab/Lib Dem canvassing politician who tweets truth: "reception on doorstep cr*p". Or words thereof #bbcdp

'They tell lies, even when they don't have to'

Gladstone addressing House of Commons
Getty Images

That's what the late Gore Vidal said about politicians. Over at the Telegraph, they've compiled some of the best political insults - all the way back to Benjamin Disraeli, who said of his great rival William Ewart Gladstone: "If Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune, and if anybody pulled him out that, I suppose, would be a calamity." But Disraeli wasn't left unscathed - the great radical John Bright called him "a self-made man who worships his creator".

We'll get the bad news - after the election

Paul Johnson, IFS
BBC
Paul Johnson laughs at the suggestion he is "not impressed" by the parties

Paul Johnson, the director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, gives the BBC News Channel a withering verdict on the parties' tax and spending plans.

On tax avoidance, he thinks all the parties are "just making up numbers". The Tories had "made up a £5bn number, the Liberal Democrats a £7bn number and the Labour Party a £7.5bn number". Whether we would get anywhere near to those kind of savings was "anybody's guess", he claimed.

When it was put to him that he didn't sound impressed, he laughed, saying: "I'm not terribly impressed, particularly with some of the things on the tax side. There is this kind of illusion or delusion that there some magic money tree there called tax avoidance which will provide you with lots of easy money to spend on other things."

He wasn't impressed with spending promises either, complaining that the parties had not provided enough detail on the cuts required. He said he wasn't surprised but warned: "I think it's important for everyone to bear in mind that there is some bad news hiding there which we'll no doubt be told about in the spending review from whoever wins the election, which will come towards the end of this year."

Welsh UKIP leader: climate change 'not man-made'

Wind turbines
Press Association

The leader of UKIP in Wales has claimed climate change is not man-made. Speaking on BBC Wales' Sunday Supplement, Nathan Gill also said it was "complete stupidity to think by sticking a bunch of wind turbines all over Wales that we are somehow going to stop the weather from changing". Mr Gill's comments were criticised by Labour, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, who all say the climate is affected by human activity.

Toby Helm, Observer political editor

@tobyhelm

tweets :

What happens to Tory £8bn for the NHS if there is not, for whatever reason, much economic growth in years to come. ie another global crash?

A history of personal attacks

Winston Churchill campaigning
Getty Images

On Radio 4's Broadcasting House this morning, (from 12:09 minutes in), the constitutional historian Lord Hennessy and the broadcaster John Sergeant took a trip through the radio archives to look at some of the harsh ways politicians have spoken about one another in the past. They start in 1945, when - in the aftermath of a wartime coalition - Winston Churchill said that a socialist Labour government would require "a kind of Gestapo" to police the society it wanted to make.

Jason Beattie, Daily Mirror

political editor

A historical view from Jason Beattie, who reminds us that manifesto commitments could, eventually, be met! He says we should remember that large parts of Labour's 1983 manifesto were enacted by Tony Blair's government (apart from nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the EU).

he tweets:

@JBeattieMirror

1983 pledges enacted by Blair: devolution, minimum wage, fox hunt ban, increased spending on NHS, care for under 5s and setting up DFID

Matt Chorley, Mail Online political editor

@MattChorley

tweets:

The choice is clear. Do you want a better plan or a clear plan? A better future, or a brighter future? #Inspirational

Ed Miliband and David Cameron
Matt Chorley

Manifesto week

Lynton Crosby
AFP/Getty Images
Conservative campaign strategist Lynton Crosby

Spectator political editor James Forsyth, writing in his Mail on Sunday column, has the scoop on Conservative tactics going into the week when manifestos are published: "The Tories have delayed the launch of their manifesto by a day so as not to clash with Labour (on Monday 12 April). They believe that, given time, they can 'unpick' Miliband’s proposals. As one member of the Tory war room puts it: 'Our big job on Monday is to find the flaw and absolutely hammer it."'

SNP photo opp

Nicola Sturgeon
BBC

With the SNP today launching a charm offensive trying to woo Scottish Labour supporters, Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon (second from left) went to a cafe in Glasgow to talk to SNP converts who were former Labour supporters.

Sophie Long, BBC Lib Dem campaign correspondent

@S0Long

tweets:

No pressure then for the political leader who promises to stop a veer to the left or to the right #GE2015

Nick Clegg bowling
Sophie Long

Who's going to benefit from an inheritance tax cut?

Robert Peston, BBC economics editor

Rows of housing
Press Association

Answers to questions of funding and taxation can often get lost in all the numbers used during party political blustering. Luckily, the BBC's correspondents sift through the data to get to the bottom line. Economics editor Robert Peston has been asking: who's going to win from today's inheritance tax giveaway announced by the Conservatives?

'Most hated tax in Britain'?

The TaxPayers' Alliance, a pressure group that campaigns for lower taxes and cuts in government spending, says that Conservative plans to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million is a first step towards "abolishing Britain's most hated tax altogether".

For too long, successive chancellors have allowed more and more people to be dragged into the top band by refusing to move the thresholds, and correcting for that is well overdue. This is a welcome first step towards the abolition of the most hated tax in Britain, one that penalises people for working hard and trying to pass on a better life to their children and grandchildren."

Jonathan IsabyTPA chief executive

SNP pitches for Labour votes

The Scottish National Party has made a direct approach to Scottish Labour voters, urging them to vote SNP. The 'Guarantee to Labour' is part of SNP efforts to woo Labour voters with a promise to "lock the Tories out of Downing Street" and to "stand up for progressive politics at Westminster".

Bookies on UKIP: Surge or crash?

UKIP are either poised for an election breakthrough, or are "on the brink of disaster", according to Graham Sharpe, a spokesman for bookmaker William Hill. "No-one seems to know for sure which it will be," he says. "We see polls saying Nigel Farage won't be elected, yet he is favourite to take South Thanet with political punters."