The Conservatives have launched a fresh attack on what they say are Labor’s “reckless” spending plans.
Labor has yet to publish its election manifesto – but that has not stopped the Tories from claiming there is a “black hole “in its economic policies.
The Tories have tried to calculate the additional taxes they believe a Labor government would have to introduce if they win power on 12 December.
Labor has dismissed the figures as “more fake news” from Tory HQ .
Shadow Treasury minister Jonathan Reynolds said: “Labor will set out our plans and our costings fully when we release our manifesto.
“The Conservatives should spend more time looking at their own policies as they failed to produce costings at the last election.”
In other election developments:
- Nigel Farage’s Brexit Partypulls candidates from 317 Tory-held seats
- The Lib Dem candidate for Thurrock, in Essex, Kevin McNamara, stands down after media reports of offensive tweets
- Laborpledges a £ 3bn increase in adult education investment to update skills for work
- The Lib Dems propose a £ 5bn fund to boost Britain’s flood defences
Both main parties are planning to borrow money to spend on infrastructure projects if they win the general
But Chancellor Sajid Javid claims Labor would not only “massively increase borrowing and debt”, it would also “hike up taxes “to pay for its program.
He claims this would amount to an extra £ 2, 400 per year for every taxpayer.
“The British people have made huge progress over the last decade in repairing the damage left to us by the last Labor government,” said Mr Javid.
“If Jeremy Corbyn gets into power he would throw all that hard work away.”
BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the Conservatives’ attack was part of a clear strategy for the “early skirmishes” of the election campaign.
He said they were seeking to build an argument about what they call the “cost of Corbyn”.
The Conservatives are repeatingtheir previous claimthat Labor plans to spend £ 1.2tn over the next five years, which forms the basis of this new claim.
But this is problematic because it makes a number of assumptions about what Labor intends to spend before it has published a manifesto.
Not only have those same assumptions been repeated in this analysis, but additional ones have been made about Labor’s tax-raising plans.
For example, the Conservatives say Labor is considering a “homes tax” which would cost households up to £ 375 more than the current Council Tax system, raising an extra £ 10 .2bn.
However, this seems to be based on a policy-proposal document put forward by Guardian columnist George Monbiot and commissioned for the Labor Party.
Thesummary of the papereven states: “The following are proposals to the Labor Party, which will consider these as part of its policy development process in advance of the next general election . “
To get to the £ 2, 400 figure, the Conservatives have assumed Labor intends to spend £ 651 bn on day-to-day spending (which comes from their original £ 1.2tn calculation)
From there, the Conservatives say that Labor only plans to raise £ 277 bn over the same period, leaving a shortfall of £ 374 bn.
So, if you then divide the shortfall by 31 .2m UK taxpayers, you arrive at £ 2, 400 a year each (or £ 12 , 000 per taxpayer over five years) to plug the gap.
In summary, this analysis is based on assumptions about money Labor intends to spend but also how much revenue the party intends to raise.
Until the manifestos are published , it is impossible to accurately identify any spending gaps.