British finance minister Sajid Javid has told the BBC the opposition Labour Party's spending plans would trigger an economic crisis within months, as he cited a contested dossier compiled and published by his Conservative Party.
"These are eye-watering levels of spending - 1.2 trillion (pounds) - it will be absolutely reckless and will leave this country with an economic crisis within months," Javid said on Sunday, while refusing to give costs for his own fiscal strategy.
Earlier, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer was reported by the Sunday Telegraph as claiming the Labour party’s election promises would cost taxpayers an extra 1.2 trillion pounds, ($1.5 trillion).
Opposition and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, if elected, would increase spending more than three times faster than former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Javid was cited as saying, as he lambasted Labour’s expenditure plans as “truly frightening.”
On Sunday the Conservatives published a dossier that Sajid Javid said showed the “true cost of Corbyn”, including taxes set at the “highest level we’ve ever seen in peacetime”.
Labour’s spending plans amounted to “scrapping all funding for the NHS - the UK’s universal health-care system - for the next nine years,” said Javid.
“The true cost of Corbyn is a staggering £1.2 trillion. Now is the time for responsible investment, not reckless borrowing. We simply cannot afford Corbyn's spending spree that would saddle our children with huge amounts of debt and undo all the hard work of the British people in recent years. Every time Labour get into power they spend beyond their means, leaving our country on the brink of bankruptcy,” Javid is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying.
The Tory dossier is based on a cost analysis of Labour's 2017 manifesto and other pledges it has made since then, including a number of commitments from Labour's annual party conference.
Opposition brands report “ludicrous”
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell branded the Conservative report a "ludicrous piece of Tory fake news" and an "incompetent mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths, cooked up because they know Labour's plans for real change are popular", reported the BBC.
"The Conservatives will be able to read all about these plans - and how much they actually cost - when we publish our fully-costed manifesto."
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has previously said he wants to more than double UK investment spending to an extra £55bln per year, with Labour intending to borrow more than the Tories to invest, claiming this would boost economy growth more rapidly and increase the state's assets rather than just its liabilities.
Labour's economic plan includes doubling "investment" spending, a £150bln "social transformation fund", and a £250bn "green transformation fund".
The UK Labour Party has yet to publish its 2019 election manifesto, with senior Labour figures meeting next weekend to decide which policies passed by the party's annual conference will become manifesto proposals for government.
Previously, civil service head Sir Mark Sedwill on 6 November scrapped the impact assessment of the Labour Party’s election pledges, triggering a backlash from some of the Conservatives, while Labour argued it was interfering in the upcoming general election.
Earlier, the Labour Party officially launched its campaign for the 12 December general election, with Corbyn confirming last month his push for a second referendum, also known as a “people’s vote”, saying that “after three years of Tory failure, it’s time to take the decision out of the hands of politicians and let the people have the final say”.
The snap general election was approved by the UK Parliament's House of Commons on 29 October, a day after Brussels offered another deadline extension for the UK, giving the country until 31 January 2020 to ratify the Brexit deal negotiated by Johnson.
The Conservatives and Labour are set to face each other in a heated competition, the results of which many observers see as being the most unpredictable in modern British history.
According to a recent poll conducted by YouGov, however, the UK Labour Party is suffering a major loss of support in virtually all regions of the country.
The pollster compared the data obtained from 11,500 respondents with data from 2017.
The interviewees were asked who they would support should an election take place tomorrow.
The survey revealed that the party has lost ground even in regions where it traditionally enjoys a lot of support.
According to the poll, the region that has seen the biggest decrease of the support for Labour is the North West, where the number of likely voters has figure by 25 points compared to two years before.