Jeremy Corbyn‘s spending spree would cost UK £1.2trillion and could ‘wreck economy within months‘

Jeremy Corbyn‘s spending spree would cost UK £1.2trillion and could ‘wreck economy within months‘, warns Chancellor Sajid Javid

Labour would plunge Britain into an economic crisis ‘within months‘, Sajid Javid said yesterday – as he insisted ‘s policies would cost the UK £1.2trillion.

In a combative intervention, the Chancellor brushed aside Labour protests to warn that Mr Corbyn‘s hard-Left agenda would cost the equivalent of more than £43,000 per household over five years.

Mr Javid also hinted that the Conservatives would offer tax cuts, saying he wanted people to ‘keep more of their own money‘.

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The bombshell dossier on Labour‘s plans came as the head of one of the UK‘s best-known retailers warned that Labour‘s ‘animosity‘ towards business would damage the economy on which future prosperity depends. 

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland, said the paralysing Brexit uncertainty had to end ‘and end quickly‘.

Writing in the Mail, he backed Boris Johnson‘s approach, saying: ‘I am keen to get Brexit done and move on.

‘The alternative of reopening negotiations then holding another divisive and chaotic referendum would be disastrous.‘

Mr Javid‘s decision to publish an analysis of Labour‘s plans sparked an outcry, with the party‘s election chief Andrew Gwynne describing it as a ‘work of fiction‘ and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell branding it ‘fake news‘ and an ‘incompetent mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths‘.

However, Mr Javid said a reasonable assessment suggested the Opposition would spend an extra £650million a day if they win the General Election.

He said the proposals – which include plans to renationalise rail, mail, water and energy – were ‘absolutely reckless‘ and equivalent to funding the entire NHS budget for nine years.

Mr Javid told the ‘s Andrew Marr Show: ‘This is the true cost of Corbyn‘s Labour – these are the numbers that John McDonnell did not want you to see, and they‘re out there today… These are eye-watering levels of spending – £1.2 trillion.

‘It will be absolutely reckless and will leave this country with an economic crisis within months, not years.‘

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Yesterday‘s Tory document is understood to have drawn on work by Treasury officials who were asked to cost Labour‘s plans. 

Publication of the Treasury work was blocked by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill following a complaint from Mr McDonnell.

The 36-page Tory analysis found that Labour‘s previous manifesto would have cost £611billion – and said commitments had almost doubled in the intervening two-and-a-half years.

Big-ticket items included the introduction of a four-day week at a cost to the public sector of £85billion over five years – a figure disputed by Labour, which has said the scheme will be introduced over time and funded entirely by unspecified ‘productivity gains‘.

Other costly items included nationalising the Big Six energy firms for a predicted £124billion, free bus travel for the under-25s at £7billion, and abolishing private schools, which is forecast to add £35billion to the cost of the education budget as the state takes on responsibility for children currently educated privately.

Labour dismissed the figures and said it would produce a ‘fully costed‘ manifesto next week. 

Mr Gwynne said the £1.2trillion claim was an ‘absolute work of fiction‘ by Tories. 

But asked what the true figure was, he replied: ‘That‘s still being finalised.‘ Mr Javid refused to be drawn on some of his own spending plans – including inheritance and income taxes – saying the party would set them out in the campaign.

‘With our plans, because they are properly costed, and by the way –whether it‘s a tax pledge or anything else – we will be clear about how we will be funding that and that will be absolutely inside our fiscal rules.

‘We‘ll show people that we can both have tax cuts and spending on what I call the people‘s priorities – on the NHS, on crime, on schools, and we can invest in infrastructure for the future.‘

Neither the Conservatives nor Labour have confirmed when their manifestos will be published.

Ed Davey, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, called for both parties to submit them to the Office for Budget Responsibility to be independently costed.

‘The cash commitments that are being thrown around by the two old parties need to be subject to proper scrutiny,‘ he said, adding that his party would be ‘more than prepared‘ to do the same with their own manifesto when it is published.


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