Cost of Corbyn’s economic chaos too high a price for Britain, warn Tories
At a campaign event in London, Philip Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis hit out at the Opposition.
The Tories have warned that Jeremy Corbyn would unleash “economic chaos” on the country, claiming there is a £45 billion black hole in Labour’s spending plans.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said voting Labour was a “high-risk gamble” which would leave Britons paying the price.
But shadow chancellor John McDonnell hit back at the Tory “lies”, and Mr Hammond refused to rule out raising taxes or axing the pension triple-lock when questioned about the Conservatives’ spending plans.
At a campaign event in London, beneath a poster showing the Labour leader with a bomb behind his head and the slogan “Corbyn: No Bombs for our Army, One big bombshell for your family”, Mr Hammond and Brexit Secretary David Davis hit out at the Opposition.
Mr Hammond said: “Britain simply cannot take the risk of Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street unleashing economic chaos on the country.
“Just when we need strong and stable leadership for our economy and our country over the crucial next five years as we negotiate our exit from the EU and chart a new course in the years beyond, Jeremy Corbyn offers a chaotic and high-risk gamble that would lead to higher taxes, more borrowing and more debt.
“It is a gamble for which we would all pay the price.
“That choice must be uppermost in people’s minds when they cast their votes on June 8.”
Mr Davis added: “By pledging populist policies for everyone and ducking the difficult decisions, Jeremy Corbyn shows that he is unable to provide the leadership Britain needs at this critical moment for our country.
“The cost of Corbyn’s chaos would be too high a price to pay for Britain.”
But Mr McDonnell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the Conservative claims were “absolute lies” and insisted the Labour manifesto would be fully costed.
He said: “Let me just say about what’s come out this morning … people would call what the Tories have published today lies. Absolute lies.”
And Mr Hammond refused to rule out the prospect of Tory tax rises if Theresa May was returned to Number 10.
He said: “The Conservatives are a low-tax party, it’s in our DNA. Look at our track record, we have taken four million low-paid people out of income tax since 2010, we have reduced income tax for another 31 million.”
But he refused to rule out increases to tax or National Insurance and would not be drawn on whether the pensions triple-lock, guaranteeing rises of at least 2.5% a year, would feature in the Tory manifesto.
The Conservatives issued a dossier claiming that Labour’s financial “black hole” would be apparent midway through the next parliament in 2019-2020 if Labour stuck to its tax and spending commitments, and pledges to reverse Tory welfare changes.
Labour campaign chief Andrew Gwynne said it was “nonsense” and the “claims are so flimsy that even the most cursory reading reveals error after error”.
Mr Corbyn accused the Tories of having an “air of desperation” with their attack on him so early in the campaign.
Speaking at an event in Bedford, he said: “Every single one of the commitments we’ve announced so far are fully costed and fully funded.”