BOTH Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn have come under fire for their elaborate election pledges which could “pick the pockets of hard-working families for years to come”.
Earlier this week a report warned the spending pledges already made by the Conservative and Labour parties in the 2019 December general election would force Britain back “to a 1970s-sized state”. Despite manifestos not yet released, bold promises have already been made to the electorate from both parties, which would impact the British taxpayer. Some have warned the “eye-wateringly extravagant spending proposals” made by the political parties will “pick the pockets of hard-working families”.
Sam Packer, Media Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers Alliance, claimed the public would be “furious” if they knew the true cost of election pledges.
He told Express.co.uk: “The eye-wateringly extravagant spending proposals mooted by the major parties are deeply concerning to anyone who worries about the tax burden being the highest it’s been for 50 years.
“It’s easy to promise goodies during an election campaign, but the public will be furious at politicians if it becomes apparent that taxes will continue to rise for a further generation in order to fund such pledges.
“All political parties need to consider how much more taxpayers can bear and ensure that their spending plans are not going to require them to pick the pockets of hard-working families for years to come.”
It came after a think-tank warned pledges made by the Government and the opposition party ahead of the election could force the country back to a “1970s-sized state”.
For over a decade the UK has had tight controls on the budget, first enforced to combat the financial crisis.
But, ahead of the December 12 general election both Tory leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are trying to win over voters with spending plans.
Matt Whittaker, deputy chief executive at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The shared commitments to ending austerity, reversing elements of it, and big infrastructure plans mean Britain could be heading back to a 1970s-sized state.
“The fact is that whatever promises are made over the course of this election campaign, taxes are going to have to rise over the coming decade.”
The Prime Minister has said that he wants to lower taxes as well as raise spending. Mr Johnson has also vowed to deliver the “biggest programme for the NHS in a generation” and “lift up schools around the country” while getting “20,000 police on the streets”.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party has said it would increase income tax for the top five percent of earners and raise corporate taxes to help fund its spending plans, the party’s would-be finance minister John McDonnell said last Sunday.
In one of his first speeches of the election campaign, Mr Corbyn said he would make private schools pay tax.
Commenting on the bold commitments already made, Kate Andrews, Associate Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said it was a “serious cause for concern”.
Ms Andrews warned the “public cannot afford” the funding required to pay for Labour and the Conservative’s plans.
She said: “The boost in spending commitments expected during this general election campaign is a serious cause for concern. Additional spending will require funding – either through increased borrowing, higher taxes, or boosting growth.
“With the tax burden already at an almost 50-year high and the UK’s budget deficit finally under control after years of over-spending, the public cannot afford the first two.
“Politicians should be focusing on tax cuts, competition, and efficiencies in order to save money and improve services, instead of splashing the cash in a bid to win votes.”
Under the Conservatives, Britain has cut its budget deficit from 10 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to about two percent now.
The Resolution Foundation, a non-partisan think-tank which focuses on issues facing low to middle-income households, said government spending could rise to 41.3 percent of GDP by 2023 from about 40 percent now under the Conservatives’ existing plans.
That would be above the average of 37.4 percent in the two decades running up to the financial crisis of 2008-09.
It would also just be marginally below the average of 42 percent between 1966 and 1984.
If the Labour Party repeats its 2017 election promise of 48.6 billion pounds ($62.85 billion) of extra spending on services, along with its new 10-year 250 billion-pound infrastructure plan, public spending would hit 43.3 percent of GDP. This would be significantly above the 1970s average, the Resolution Foundation said.
Britain’s current public debt stands at £1.8 trillion ($2.3 trillion), or 80 percent of GDP – more than Germany but less than the United States, Japan and France.
The eye-wateringly extravagant spending proposals mooted by the major parties are deeply concerning