Yesterday the Tories were more than happy to draw attention to IFS analysis of Labour’s manifesto from Paul Johnson. They were particularly keen on one line – David Cameron even tweeted it – but neglected to mention Johnson’s statement that Labour had outlined “an entirely credible fiscal policy”.
We doubt they’ll be happy to share Johnson’s assessment of their own manifesto. In a BBC News interview this afternoon he warned of “very dramatic spending cuts” – and that’s before today’s additional spending commitments are added. He warned:
“Today we got a very clear sense that the Conservatives are goes to have to do an enormous amount over the next three or four years, but almost no sense at all of how they’re going to do it.”
Here’s the video, and a transcript of the key section:
“The Conservatives reaffirmed today their desire to get the budget into surplus by 2018 – that’s just three years time. Even without any additional policies that requires very dramatic spending cuts or perhaps tax increases between now and 2018, at least on the scale of what we’ve seen in this Parliament. If in addition you add on commitments to increase spending on the NHS and to reduce taxes that makes those other policies – those other squeezes on departmental spending or social security spending – even harder to achieve. So yesterday we didn’t get much detail from Labour about how much they want to cut. Today we got a very clear sense that the Conservatives are goes to have to do an enormous amount over the next three or four years, but almost no sense at all of how they’re going to do it.”