Tories 'will spend more' than manifesto pledge, says IFS

28 Novembre, 2019, 22:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • UK parties not credible on budget promises to voters- IFS

Mr Johnson added: 'Why have they been so immensely modest in their proposals?

The analysis showed that Liberal Democrats' plans involves somewhat lower levels of borrowing than implied by either Labour or Conservative manifestos, and they appear to be the only one of the three parties which would put debt on a decisively downward path.

Paul Johnson, the director of the IFS, said that the Conservative party manifesto offered "essentially nothing new", but noted that it would lead to a 14% reduction in public service spending excluding health by 2024, compared with the 2010-11 fiscal year.

"When we looked at the manifestos in 2017 we said "the Conservatives would preside over yet more spending cuts" and that their manifesto would mean "another parliament of austerity". The public sector doesn't have the capacity to ramp up that much, that fast. "Because to do otherwise would either mean resiling from their pledge to balance the current budget or would mean being up front about the need for tax rises to avoid breaking that pledge", he said.

There's no respite for the Conservatives though - particularly on their pledge not to extend the transition period included in the PM's Brexit deal beyond 2020, even if a trade deal has not been agreed.

The IFS said it was "highly likely" that a Labour government would have to introduce further tax rises - beyond those it has already announced for big business and the better off - in order to raise the extra £83bn a year in additional revenue it wants.

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Addressing this point, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was "very confident" his agenda could be delivered without tax rises for anyone earning less than £80,000.

"No more austerity perhaps - but an very bad lot of it [already] baked in", Johnson said. The think tank said the Tories had "failed to come up with any kind of plan or any kind of money for social care", and the party's plans on welfare were "all but non-existent".

However, Johnson said much of Labour's vision was of a state "not so dissimilar to those seen in many other successful Western European economies".

And he expressed concern about about its pledge to commit £58 billion to compensate the so-called "Waspi women" who claim to have lost out as a result of pension changes under the coalition government.

"Neither is a properly credible prospectus", he said.

"Both are failing to come clean with the electorate and ignoring the Brexit black hole their plans would leave in the public finances", he added.

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