UK prime minister David Cameron woos voters with the promise of a separate rate of income tax for England, ahead of May 7th's general election. David Pollard reports.
Neck and neck in opinion polls with the main opposition party, David Cameron and his Conservatives make a new bid to catch voters' attention ahead of next month's election. Most eye-catching of all, the prospect of a separate rate of income tax for England. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "We made a vow after the Scottish referendum to devolve more powers to Scotland and I'm proud that we're keeping that vow. Soon the Scottish parliament will be voting to set its own levels of income tax and rightly so. But that has clear implications. English MPs will be unable to vote on the income tax paid by people in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. While Scottish MPs are able to vote on the tax you pay in Birmingham, Canterbury, Leeds or Lincoln, it is simply unfair and with English votes for English laws we will put it right." Scotland voted narrowly to reject independence from the UK in a referendum in September. With his party holding only 59 seats in Scotland, Cameron's seen as having little to lose by championing reforms to counterbalance Scotland's growing autonomy. But - while still denying a 'Little Englander' mentality. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "We do not support English nationalists, we do not want an English Parliament, we are the Conservative and Unionist Party through and through. This manifesto simply recognises that the democratic picture has got more complicated in the UK." With neither Cameron's Conservatives nor the opposition Labour party likely to win an outright majority, the UK appears bound for another term of coalition government. After the 2010 election, it was a pact between the Conservatives and the centrist Liberal Democrats. This time around could see Labour in an informal deal with the pro-Scottish independence SNP - or the Conservatives with the right-wing, anti-immigration UKIP Party. A more alarming prospect for investors, says JP Morgan's Kerry Craig. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) KERRY CRAIG, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST AT JP MORGAN SAYING: ''It's all about the parties that are involved in this coalition. You obviously have the Scottish Nationalist Party and the UKIP - both are looking for either questioning the UK's position within the European Union, or even questioning whether Scotland should be part of the UK. That's an added level of uncertainty this time that wasn't around in 2010.'' The UK wide general election to parliament is scheduled for May 7.