27 Apr 2010

IFS warns of sharpest cuts since Second World War

So there we have it. Clarity, honesty, and candour on Day 22 of the election campaign.

Not at any of the party political press conferences. No, it’s been left to the trusty holders of the spending shield of truth: the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The top line is this: Conservative manifesto implies the largest sustained cut to departmental public spending since the Second World War.

Before Labour starts printing its attack poster … The Labour and Liberal Democrat plans merely imply the sharpest sustained cuts since the IMF humiliation in 1976.

Now try and get a politician to admit this picture of Britain in the parliament for which they seek to be elected.

On tax rises, the IFS has looked at the manifestos, and feel they imply an extra £7 billion for Labour, an extra £3 billion for Conservatives (reimposing half the effective ‘cut’ from their much vaunted jobs tax ‘cut’) and the Lib Dems are pretty much on target.

On spending, the Conservatives need to find £64 billion in cuts by 2015 from unprotected areas such as education, housing, transport etc. They have not explained 82 per cent of this, or £52 billion of cuts.

Labour need to find a £51 billion cuts from unprotected areas and have not explained 87 per cent, leaving a £44 billion shortfall.

The Liberal Democrats manifesto implies £46.5 billion of non-priority cuts, and have not explained 74 per cent of it – a £34.5 billion shortfall.

So all pretty opaque, but the IFS say the Lib Dems are the “least bad” in terms of the numbers.

More to come…