General election: Labour ‘spending splurge’ would cost extra £1.2tn, Tories claim


The Conservative Party says that paying for Labour’s plans is equivalent to funding the NHS for nine years.

                              General election: Labour 'spending splurge' would cost extra £1.2tn, Tories claim

A Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn would cost an extra £1.2 trillion over the next five years, the Tories have claimed.

The calculation is based on Labour’s 2017 manifesto and extra spending pledges made since then.

It amounts to a 30% increase in government spending, the Tories say, with Chancellor Sajid Javid calling it a “truly frightening spending splurge”.

Labour’s manifesto for December’s election has not yet been revealed and some of the proposals used in the calculation may not be included.

                              General election: Labour 'spending splurge' would cost extra £1.2tn, Tories claim

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Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the figures were a “ludicrous piece of Tory fake news” that had been formulated from “an incompetent mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths”.

Commenting on Labour’s spending plans, Mr Javid said: “Now is the time for responsible investment not reckless borrowing.

“We simply cannot afford Corbyn’s spending spree that would saddle our children with huge amounts of debt and undo all the hard work of the British people in recent years.”

He added: “A vote for Corbyn’s Labour would mean the chaos of another two referendums and frightening levels of debt that would take us decades to pay off.”

                              General election: Labour 'spending splurge' would cost extra £1.2tn, Tories claim

The Conservatives say Labour’s 2017 manifesto would cost £600bn and that other promises amount to another £590bn “on top of what the government already spends”.

Included in that is renationalising the rail, energy, water and postal services – which the Confederation of British Industry puts at £196bn.

Among the other costs it lists is £30bn for a pledge to install energy saving measures in nearly all UK homes, and £7bn for free bus travel for under-25s.

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The Tories say £85bn would also need to be spent over five years for the shadow chancellor’s promise to cut the average working week to 32 hours within a decade with no loss of pay.

It bases that figure on a Centre for Policy Studies estimate.

The party says that paying for all Labour’s plans equates to funding the NHS for nine years and that the cost could increase when its new manifesto is released.

The Tories are also planning to increase government spending if they win the election and have unveiled plans to boost investment spending – money for new hospitals schools and transport – by £20bn a year.

Mr McDonnell said his party would “tax the rich” to pay for its spending pledges.

He added: “We will also use the power of the state to invest to grow our economy, create good jobs in every region and nation and tackle the climate emergency.

“The Conservatives will be able to read all about these plans – and how much they actually cost – when we publish our fully costed manifesto.”

The Brexit Election: For the fastest results service and in-depth analysis watch Sky News live from 9pm on Thursday 12 December, with a KayBurley@Breakfast election special on Friday 13 December

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