A decade of business under Blair
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 01/05/2007
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Business and Markets
Tony Blair's ability to convince middle England that the Labour Party could successfully manage Britain's economy and allow businesses to flourish was crucial in winning the 1997 election.
Here we give the key facts on how markets, companies and individuals have fared since Mr Blair first stepped into Downing Street on May 2 1997.
The FTSE 100 has risen around 40pc since May 1997, but the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are up around 75pc, while Germany's Dax has soared more than 100pc and France's CAC 40 has risen 130pc.
Japan's Nikkei, however, is down more than 10pc in the same period.
Alternative Investment Market (AIM)
At the end of 1997, 22 international companies were listed on Aim, which had a total of 308 listings, with a total market value of £5,655m.
Today, according to latest figures from the London Stock Exchange, there are 1,637 companies listed on Aim worth a total of £101.7bn, 304 of which are international companies.
Since its launch in 1995, over 2,500 companies have joined Aim - raising more than £34bn in the process, both through initial public offerings (IPOs) and further capital raisings. Companies that have made the jump from Aim to the main market include Connaught, Erinaceous and Sinclair Pharma.
10 very taxing years
In 1996-97, there were just over two million higher rate taxpayers, but in 2006-07, more than 3.2 million people will pay tax at the higher rate, as increases in tax thresholds have failed to keep up with rising earnings.
Average earnings have risen by 41pc since 1997, according to BDO Stoy Hayward, but the threshold after which individuals have to pay the highest rate of tax has only increased by 31pc.
Gordon Brown removed the upper limit or ceiling on National Insurance contributions (NICs) and introduced a new upper band of NICs which now applies at 1 per cent on all earnings above £645 a week.
Higher taxes combined with lower investment returns and interest rates to cut the annual in come received by private sector pensioners by more than three quarters during the past decade.