Since 1997 Labour economic policy has been criticised by many saying it is merely a continuation of Conservative economic policy in the period of 1979 to 1997. There is much evidence to suggest that this statement is true but also some to prove against it. .
In the area of monetary policy since 1997 Labour's top priority has been the control of inflation. During the period 1979 to 1997 the Conservatives top priority was also the control of inflation. Labour had in previous Governments promised to keep inflation down but had failed to do this. In their first weekend of Government after winning the 1997 election Labour created an Independent Bank Of England and a Monetary Policy Committee made up of the head of the Bank Of England and leading economists, which was given the control of interest rates. The MPC was told to raise interest rates if inflation began to rise, this proved the Labour Governments commitment to keeping down inflation as the public do not like high interest rates as it costs them more on their mortgage and so on. This could potentially damage the Governments popularity. Similarly to this the last Conservative Government set up monthly meetings with the head of the Bank Of England, Eddie George. In these meetings the Chancellor would take advice from George on Economic policy. The minutes of the meetings were published to the public so it would be know to everyone if the Conservatives were to stray from George's advice. The Conservatives did, however, oppose the introduction of an Independent Bank Of England, but Labour succeeded in keeping down inflation where the Conservatives did not.
In the area of fiscal policy in the first two years of the Labour Government they promised to follow lower Conservative spending plans hoping to dispel the myth that Labour could not be trusted with public finances. The also wanted to send out an opposition to the Trade Unions as they wanted to impress the city, the international financial community and Middle England.