Rules, what rules? Confusion as Labour ‘drives car and horses’ through manifesto promises – News 24

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 The party did not include the costly plan to compensate women hit by state pension age changes in its £80 billion a year manifesto, which was unveiled last Thursday  Prime Minister Boris Johnson was confronted by a voter on the issue during the BBC’s heated Question Time debate the next day  Labour had hoped for a boost in support after setting out its manifesto giveaway but flatlined in the polls  Unite boss Len McCluskey, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, admitted the party had scrambled to draw up the plan since its election policy document was released  “In the last three days the team have come up with a way” to solve the issue, he told LBC  Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, said: “This drives a cart and horses immediately through the manifesto pledge to remain at current budget balance  “This is another £12 billion a year of borrowing for the next five years.” Julian Jessop, economics fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “While there may well be a case for a targeted hardship fund, Labour’s plan to splurge £58bn compensating women – regardless of need – for increases in the state pension age is a poor use of taxpayers’ money and shreds any remaining fiscal credibility the party might have ” Waspi women – Women Against State Pension Inequality – campaigners say they were given insufficient time to prepare for the changes brought in by the former coalition government  Cabinet minister Michael Gove said he was “sympathetic” to their plight but Labour’s plan would mean higher borrowing and taxation  He said: “One of the problems, of course, with Labour’s position is that they are spending money which they pledged not to spend  “When they launched their manifesto earlier this week they said that they would have certain rules about spending and they wouldn’t borrow beyond a particular limit   “They’ve now driven a coach and horses through those rules and they are planning to borrow and planning to raise taxes in a way which will cause further damage to our economy ” Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said the Waspi pledge was an “uncosted wish list”. “Anybody can write a wish list and say all of these wonderful things that people could have, but I think people generally know that you don’t get something for nothing,” she told BBC One’s Andrew Marr  Labour said its plans could reach £58 billion over five years – with individual payments averaging £15,380 running to a maximum of £31,300  Shadow chancellor John McDonnell admitted the scheme was “expensive” but insisted it would settle a “historical debt of honour” to the women born in the 1950s

 

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