CAMERON IN ALNWICK: PM hits out at Labour manifesto

David Cameron visits the Northumberland Gazette office.'Picture by Jane Coltman
David Cameron visits the Northumberland Gazette office.'Picture by Jane Coltman

The Prime Minister criticised Labour’s manifesto, which was launched today, describing their assertion that every policy is paid for as ‘not a conversion, but a con’.

Labour launched its manifesto for the General Election today in Manchester amid pledges that every policy in the manifesto is paid for. They say there has been a focus on economic competence, in contrast to promises such as the Tories’ £8billion a year for the NHS, which has raised questions as to from where this money will come.

But during his visit to Alnwick today, David Cameron was scathing, saying: “It’s not a conversion, it’s a con. They have spent the last five years criticising every single decision to make efficiencies and spending reductions in order to get the economy back on track and suddenly we are meant to believe they are converts to fiscal rectitude, it beggars belief.

“The real problem they have got is they can’t tell you how much they are going to cut the deficit by, they can’t tell you whether they will ever actually clear the deficit because their plan is to go on borrowing forever and they can’t tell you what the balance is between what they are going to do in taxation and what they are going to do in spending. If you can’t answer those three questions, really you don’t have an economic policy.

“I think the reason they don’t have an economic policy is because at heart what they are going to be about is more borrowing, which leads to more taxation, which will be deeply damaging to the economy so I think today we can see the true nature of what’s going to be on offer.”

In an exclusive interview, Mr Cameron also talked about the dualling of the A1, ambulance cover, the privatisation of search and rescue, windfarms and support for small businesses.

However, Labour has described its manifesto as a plan to reward hard work, share prosperity and build a better Britain. Among its economic policies are raising the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019; cutting the deficit every year and balancing the books as soon as possible in the next Parliament; cutting and then freezing business rates; guaranteeing an apprenticeship for all school leavers who attain certain grades; and banning exploitative zero-hours contracts.

In its foreword, leader Ed Miliband writes: “The fundamental truth that runs through this manifesto is that Britain will only succeed when working people succeed. It is an idea at the heart of my beliefs. And it drives our better plan for a better future.

“It means a country where hard work is rewarded, with high skill, high wage jobs. An economy built on strong and secure foundations, where we balance the books.

“It means building a future for all our young people, so they can get world-class apprenticeships and access to affordable, higher education. It means strong public services, rescuing our NHS.

“It means strong communities, where power is shared by people in every part of the country and where we respond to people’s concerns about immigration, with proper controls.

“It means a Britain where everyone plays by the same rules, including those at the very top of our society. And it means an outward looking country, engaged in the world for our national interest.

“For me, the privilege of serving as Prime Minister in our country would be for one purpose alone: to work every day to help build a country that works again for working people. This manifesto is our plan to achieve that goal.”

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