The IFS says both the Labour and Tory manifestos are 'not honest'

left: Jack Taylor/Getty Images, right: Anthony Devlin

​One of Britain's most respected policy groups has detailed inaccuracies the Labour and Conservative manifestos, and accused the parties of being 'not honest' with voters.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said there is 'black hole' in Labour's plans for taxes.

They also said the Tory promise to cut immigration to Britain to the tens of thousands would cause 'serious damage' to the economy.

The IFS has historically been critical of all parties and prided itself for its analysis as non-partisan.

Tory 'damage'

  • NHS cuts.
  • Pupil funding in schools cuts.
  • Possible tax rises.
  • Economic damage because of immigration lower than 100,000.
  • £6bn less in revenue because of reduced immigration.

The 'steady as she goes' message of the Tory manifesto has been criticised by the IFS for underplaying the radical changes actually proposed therein.

At a briefing on Friday morning the IFS warned the Tory manifesto was not status quo, but meant big cuts in welfare, the NHS, and schools.

In addition the IFS questioned if these cuts were even deliverable.

The Tories, like Labour, might be forced to raise taxes to fund their document - which unlike Labour's manifesto did not contain specific costings for each policy.

The IFS was in agreement with the Office for Budget Responsibility, which has already predicted that reduced immigration would mean the government had £6bn less in revenue by 2020-21.

This black hole has not been accounted for in the Tory manifesto.

Labour's 'overstated' revenue

  • £9bn shortfall in revenue.
  • Possible tax rises.
  • Depressed employment because of minimum wage increase.

One of the main problems with Labour's manifesto, which the party maintains is completely costed, even with wiggle room, is the party's reliance on taxing corporations and businesses.

Labour's manifesto is supposed to cost £48.6bn, and the money is supposed to come from tax rises on the richest five per cent of workers, and be reversing the government's plans to cut corporation tax (therefore retaining that revenue).

The IFS believes it won't raise that much money.

The polite term they use for this inaccuracy is that the figure has been "overstated", and it would only raise about £40bn.

As such Labour will be left trying to find £9bn from somewhere else - or abandon some of their spending commitments.

The IFS also warned that the plan for a £10 an hour minimum wage by 2020 could possibly depress employment.


The deputy director of the IFS Carl Emmerson had this damning remark to make about the two main parties' manifestos.

The shame of the two big parties’ manifestos is that neither sets out an honest set of choices.

Neither addresses the long term challenges we face.

HT Politics Home

Updated 13.43

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