It seems the Conservatives can’t make a single claim without having it shot down by the fact-checkers these days. What does that say about David Cameron’s integrity?
Yesterday, standing on the steps of 10 Downing Street (a big no-no during an election campaign), he told the world that if Ed Miliband took up residence there, the cost would be “over £3,000 in higher taxes for every working family to pay for more welfare and out-of-control spending. Debt will rise and jobs will be lost as a result”.
Within hours, the Institute for Fiscal Studies dealt this claim a devastating blow. The IFS said Labour could meet its fiscal targets with as little as £3 billion in tax rises from 2018-19, and not the £15bn in tax rises from 2017-18 onwards that the Conservative numbers assumed. It’s point-by-point rebuttal stated:
- The £3,000 figure was a cumulative increase over parliament and not an annual increase.
- The figure also assumed that all of the burden fell on only 17 million working households, and not on the 26.7 million total households in the UK.
- If the figure was recalculated on an annualised basis, households would beonly £560 a year worse off.
In a note, the thinktank said: “There is little value in bandying around numbers which suggest either party would increases taxes by an average of £3,000 for each working household. We don’t know what they will do after the election. But neither of the two main parties has said anything to suggest that is what they are planning.”
Incredibly, George Osborne refused to admit that the game was up and kept digging. He declared that the Tory figures “were based on what the Labour party has voted for in parliament. They voted for a £30 billion saving and Ed Miliband has said half of that should come from taxes – that is £15 billion – and then you take the working families and you come up with that number, £3,000, for the next parliament.”
No, thicky! It’s time for another point-by-point rebuttal:
- Firstly, Labour did not vote for a £30 billion saving. Osborne keeps trying to put this one over on the voting public but you’d have to be really stupid or a supporter of the SNP, Plaid Cymru or the Greens to believe it or repeat it. Labour voted in favour of the Charter for Budget Responsibility and its aim to balance the budget within a rolling three-year period. There is no mention of £30 billion of savings in that charter.
- Secondly, why is Osborne only including working families among those facing a rise in taxation? Everybody pays taxes. Is he trying to demonise people who don’t have a job, either through sickness/disability or because the Conservative drive to kill British industry has deprived them of any opportunities (Tories started dismantling our industries in 1979, in order to create insecurity among the workforce)?
- Finally, a £3 billion tax rise, divided among the 26.7 total households in the UK, means a total tax rise of £112.36 per household – but Labour probably won’t hit every household. Raising the highest band of Income Tax back to 50 per cent will raise a huge amount, alone – remember, the richest are twice as rich now as they were in 2009. while working families have around half as much, if that, after living expenses are deducted from their income.
The last point is most relevant: Labour won’t tax everybody; they’ll rebalance taxation to ensure the richest pay their fair share. That’s what the Tories fear; what they are desperate to avoid.
They’re hoping that, by telling you a lie about £3K extra in taxes, they’ll be able to prevent their own supporters (and themselves) from having to pay their way.
Conservatives would much rather make you pay their dues for them.
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