The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has published a damning analysis of the Labour Party manifesto, declaring that on tax and benefits, the Lib Dems’ plans are the fairest to those on the lowest wages.
On tax, the IFS confirms that Labour would raise public spending to its highest since the mid-1980s and pay for it by raising taxes to their highest peacetime levels. Although under Jeremy Corbyn those with the highest incomes would lose the most, the IFS conclude that the changes to taxes and benefits proposed by the Lib Dems would be the most generous to people on the lowest incomes.
On benefit cuts, IFS say that Labour do not plan to reverse most planned cuts to working-age benefits. In contrast, the IFS conclude that the Lib Dems go further than Labour by reversing cuts to child tax credit and the plan to freeze most benefit rates.
Labour also put out some costings alongside the manifesto, which purported to show how every spending promise would be paid for. The IFS says the sums don’t add up. The projections are too optimistic on how much money will be raised by various taxes and that Labour have made some basic accounting errors too. The IFS has previously stated that the revenue raised by the Liberal Democrats’ income tax rises, at around £6bn per year, is "more certain" than the revenue raised by Labour.
Stephen Williams, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, said:
“This independent analysis proves that the Lib Dems are the real opposition to Theresa May’s hard Brexit Tory party and that we are the most progressive party in this election. Our funding is sensible, transparent and fairest to those on low and medium incomes.
“Labour's economic policy has already put local jobs and livelihoods at risk, particularly for those in the aerospace and manufacturing industries, by backing Theresa May’s extreme plans to leave the single market and customs union.
"The Liberal Democrats will put a penny on income tax to rescue the NHS and social care, and protect our economy by fighting to stay in the single market and customs union.
“Only the Lib Dems have a clear and credible plan for how we would raise the money and get it into the NHS and the care system. We are also the only party that has properly costed how to fund our schools, with £43.5m extra for our schools in the city, and we are the only party that has put plans in place to protect our public services, with a fully costed £780 pay rise for public sector workers in Bristol. We will do all this whilst at the same ensuring those who need the most support get the help they need to get by.”