Tories and Labour row over public spending

3 May 17

Theresa May’s Conservative government and Labour have clashed over public spending and taxation plans. 

Neither party have issued their manifestos for June's snap general election but a number of proposed policies have come under fire from each side.

Today the Tories launched an attack on Labour accusing them of having a £45bn black hole in their spending plans – which they allege would have to be paid for through tax hikes on working families.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour's campaign manager, dismissed the charges as “nonsense” adding that the Conservatives were unable to tell the difference between capital and revenue spending.

“Labour’s policies are fully-costed and properly paid for. Our plans will be set out in our manifesto,” he said.

The criticism on Labour’s spending proposals comes as shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth promised to scrap the Conservative plans to shut some A&E departments.

Ashworth has pledged to cancel the current Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) programme until a full scale review of all proposals was done.

CIPFA has stated that the STP scheme will only be a success if the plans are realistic and address the emerging funding gap which they said would stand at £10bn by 2020-21.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “These local plans are developed by local doctors and communities, backed by the top doctors and nurses of the NHS, and will improve patient care.”

Today’s war of words follows yesterday’s announcement that Labour would hire 10,000 police officers through reversing the Tory cuts to Capital Gains Tax.

This policy was overshadowed by an interview given by Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, when she was unable to give the total cost of the scheme on a LBC radio show yesterday morning.

Brexit secretary David Davis told ITV’s Good Morning Britain today the UK taxpayer would not pay a €100bn (£84.5bn) divorce bill for leaving the EU after Financial Times reported Brussels could seek such a figure.

Davis said: “This is a negotiation. They lay down what they want and we lay down what we want."

He added that the talks had not started yet and no official figures have been presented.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said voters should get the chance to vote on the final Brexit deal, he said: “During the referendum no divorce bill was ever mentioned.

"Then it was 50bn and now it’s leaped to 100bn.”

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