Daily Mail

Corbyn’s fantasy land

After a day of calamity — when he even ran over a BBC man’s foot — how his class war manifesto would cost every family £4,000

- By Jason Groves and Daniel Martin

LABOUR is plotting a £ 93 billion- a- year spending spree that would cost families an average of £4,000 each, it emerged last night.

Analysis of the party’s leaked draft manifesto, which was signed off by Labour’s high command yesterday, reveals an array of costly pledges – but little informatio­n about how they will be funded.

On a calamitous day for party leader Jeremy Corbyn – including his car running over a BBC cameraman’s foot – one expert described the manifesto as ‘the most expensive suicide note in history’. And the

independen­t Institute for Fiscal Studies warned the scale of state interventi­on would be the biggest seen since the 1940s, when Britain was rebuilding after the war.

As Labour HQ was plunged into bitter recriminat­ions – with allies of Mr Corbyn and party moderates blaming each other for the unpreceden­ted manifesto leak – the party leader missed the launch of his first campaign poster to ‘ deal with internal matters’. Hours later, the car taking him to the crunch manifesto meeting hit the cameraman, leaving him needing hospital treatment. The chaos came as: Theresa May said the manifesto confirmed Mr Corbyn’s desire to ‘go back to the disastrous socialist policies of the 1970s’;

The Confederat­ion of British Industry led a business backlash, saying Labour’s policies ‘risk putting our economy into reverse gear’.

The militant Unite union welcomed plans to scrap antistrike laws and said it would give Labour £4.5 million;

Former prime minister Gordon Brown appeared to concede that Labour cannot win;

Labour moderates warned the ‘ appalling’ manifesto would trash the party’s economic credibilit­y for years;

The MigrationW­atch thinktank said Labour’s manifesto contained ‘no effective measures’ to control immigratio­n.

Labour’s draft manifesto was leaked in full on Wednesday night, revealing the party is preparing to offer a bewilderin­g array of costly policies in a desperate bid to avoid an election wipeout next month. Big-ticket items include scrapping university tuition fees, nationalis­ing the energy and rail industries and the Royal Mail, ending the public sector pay cap and launching a £250 billion spending splurge on infrastruc­ture.

Labour last night insisted its plans would be fully costed, but was unable to say how.

Analysis of the spending pledges based on work by independen­t think-tanks, the Conservati­ves, industry and Labour’s own figures suggests the manifesto could add £93 billion a year to spending – equal to £4,000 a year each for the average household.

Labour has suggested extra taxes and borrowing totalling £63.5 bn a year – leaving a black hole of £29.5 bn. An extra penny on income tax is estimated to raise between £4.5 bn and £6 bn, suggesting it could require a significan­t tax hike or extra borrowing,

Tony Travers, professor of government at the London School of Economics, said the document bore comparison with Labour’s infamous 1983 manifesto, dubbed ‘the longest suicide note in history’.

He added: ‘Inevitably, people will speak about longest suicide notes. This may be judged also to be the most expensive one. The apparent cost of the total of all the commitment­s would place an implausibl­e burden on a very small group of taxpayers.’

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said Labour’s proposals for state interventi­on went far beyond anything in recent decades.

Julian Jessop, chief economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs, added: ‘The Labour Party’s manifesto includes delusional and incoherent economics that would result in economic disaster for this country.’

Labour grandees met in London to sign off the manifesto. Changes are said to have amounted to only ‘tinkering’ with the language on immigratio­n and defence.

Mr Corbyn emerged from the meeting to tell reporters the manifesto pledges would be ‘very popular’.

The beleaguere­d Labour leader said the document had been ‘agreed unanimousl­y’ by the meeting, which comprised the Shadow Cabinet, Labour’s ruling national executive committee and union barons.

But former Labour minister Ben Bradshaw, who is seeking re- election in Exeter, suggested the manifesto was an irrelevanc­e. ‘Let’s get real,’ he said. ‘We Labour MPs are trying to save as many good Labour MPs as possible so that we have some semblance of an opposition after June 8.’

 ??  ?? Smiling through the pain: Jeremy Corbyn yesterday
Smiling through the pain: Jeremy Corbyn yesterday
 ?? From yesterday’s Mail ??
From yesterday’s Mail

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