Labour’s rebuttal – top 5 errors
· Labour hope to run the country, but they don’t even know who their own shadow minsters are!
Labour’s rebuttal says: ‘The Tories have used a quote from a backbench peer…The Tories quote Lord Rosser, a backbench Labour Peer’. But Lord Rosser has been on the Labour frontbench since 2010 (Labour Party, The Tories’ Smear Analysis of Labour Party Policy, 5 January 2015, p.25; Parliament website, accessed 5 January 2015, link).
· Labour’s own rebuttal confuses a million with a billion – three times.
‘The Tories say that a commitment to support UnionLearn for the Duration of the Parliament means that we will increase its funding from £15.3 billion [sic] to £21.5 billion [sic]’; ‘According to the Tories, this policy would cost nothing in 2015/16 but new election costs would be £85.7 billion [sic]’ (Labour Party, The Tories’ Smear Analysis of Labour Party Policy, 5 January 2015, p.14).
· Labour accept HM Treasury’s costings when it suits them, but refuse when the costings reveal they have got their numbers wrong.
‘This costing [restricting pension tax relief for higher earners] raises more than we had expected and we will ensure that the revenue comes in as soon as possible’; ‘Treasury costings have been done on the basis of Tory advisers’ assumptions’ (Labour Party, The Tories’ Smear Analysis of Labour Party Policy, 5 January 2015, p.34 and p.3).
· Labour say they want the OBR to cost their manifesto, but they won’t accept their costings when it doesn’t suit them.
Labour claim: ‘According to the Tories, Labour's policy of restoring the 50p rate of income tax will not raise any revenue because it would be offset by reductions in VAT’; but it is the OBR and HMRC’s analysis that shows this policy wouldn’t raise money (Labour Party, The Tories’ Smear Analysis of Labour Party Policy, 5 January 2015, p.34 and p.34; HMRC, The Exchequer effect of the 50 per cent additional rate of income tax, March 2012; HM Treasury, Budget 2013, Table 2.2, March 2013).
· Labour want to have it both ways when it comes to whether their published reports constitute a commitment.
When Lord Adonis – a senior Shadow Minister – recommends something in a report it’s not their policy: ‘this [University Technical Colleges] is a recommendation from Andrew Adonis’ Growth Review and is not Labour Party policy and will not be in our manifesto’. But when they want to prove something about their policy, Labour are happy to reference a report by a former Minister who hasn’t been on their frontbench for nearly ten years: ‘We have been clear that our policy would be funded from within existing resources…David Blunkett report for Labour’s Policy Review’ (Labour Party, The Tories’ Smear Analysis of Labour Party Policy, 5 January 2015, p.4 and p. 17).