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Manifesto pledge to no extra borrowing

Miliband to cast Labour as ‘party of tax responsibility’

Ed MilibandLabour leader Ed Miliband will promise that every policy is fully funded without the need to raise borrowing when he unveils his party’s Election manifesto in Manchester.

In what is considered the boldest pledge on spending and borrowing by any of the party leaders, he will introduce a “budget responsibility lock” to guarantee annual cuts in the deficit.

This, he will say, is designed to ensure policies are properly costed and will not damage the public finances.

In a message that may antagonise Scottish nationalists awaiting the delivery of pledges made last September, he will declare the manifesto to be “a vow to protect our nation’s finances”.

His “no extra borrowing” pledge, however, will also be criticised by his Tory opponents as an attempt to derail their own strategy of portraying themselves as the party of budget responsibility.

Mr Miliband will tell supporters that Labour is a “party of fiscal responsibility” and is expected to raise further questions about the Tories claim that they will pump an additional £8 billion into the NHS.

Amid some scepticism as to where Chancellor George Osborne has managed to find the additional funding, the Tories have also committed themselves to freezing VAT and cutting inheritance tax.

 

 

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