'Fake news' says Labour

Tories and Labour clash over Corbyn’s £1.2 trn spending plan

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid: ‘Now is the time for responsible investment’

A row erupted this weekend over Labour’s spending commitments which Shadow Chancellor Sajid Javid said would leave the UK “on the brink of bankruptcy”.

Tory party research claims Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s spending plans would cost £1.2 trillion over five years.

Mr Javid said that Labour’s spending plans would cost the country an extra £650 million a day, or almost £5 billion a week, and push total Government spending up by 30%.

The £1.2 trillion figure is more than the combined GDP of Denmark, Ireland and Austria.

Every time Labour get into power they spend beyond their means

– Sajid Javid, Chancellor

Mr Javid said: “Now is the time for responsible investment not reckless borrowing.

“Every time Labour get into power they spend beyond their means, leaving our country on the brink of bankruptcy.”

Shadow spokesman John McDonnell immediately hit back, accusing the Tories of “fake news”.

The report is based on a number of commitments from Labour’s annual party conference. These include £196bn for renationalising rail, water and postal services, £7bn for free bus travel for the under 25s, £30bn for home insulation and refurbishments, £85bn to institute a four-day working week, £4.5bn to trial a Universal Basic Income, and £8.7bn to guarantee all energy workers a job as greener technology replaces power stations.

Mr McDonnell insisted that the party will provide a fully-costed plan in its manifesto. He said: “This ludicrous piece of Tory fake news is an incompetent mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths cooked up because they know Labour’s plans for real change are popular.

“Labour will tax the rich to pay for things everyone needs and deserves, like decent housing, healthcare and support for our children. 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 Labour Party has yet to publish its 2019 election manifesto, detailing its policies and spending proposals.

Senior Labour figures will meet next weekend to decide which policies passed by the party’s annual conference will become manifesto proposals for government, with some unlikely to make the cut.

Speaking about Labour’s plans in Liverpool on Thursday, Mr McDonnell promised “investment on a scale never seen before” to overhaul infrastructure in all areas of the UK.

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