Labour's promises and their hazards

Andrew Grice@IndyPolitics
Monday 22 September 2014 12:00
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Child benefit would be reduced in real terms by an incoming Labour Government, Ed Balls will announce today as the party tries to convince voters it is ready to make painful cuts in order to balance the nation’s books.

It comes after Ed Miliband said an incoming Labour government would raise the minimum wage from £8 per hour. Here are four other Labour pledges and their hazards:

Pledge: Bring back the 10p starting rate of income tax, worth about £2 a week for workers.

How will it be funded? From a “mansion tax” on properties worth over £2m, raising some £2bn a year.

What's the danger? In areas where house prices have over-heated, it could be seen as unfair.

Pledge: Scrap the so-called “bedroom tax” on people in social housing who have spare rooms.

How will it be funded? The bill could be at least £465m a year. Ed Miliband has said it would be afforded by “abolishing the shady schemes of tax loopholes for the privileged few”.

What's the danger? The cash raid hits the value of some pensions schemes, and could even threaten jobs in the financial services sector.

Pledge: Long-term unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds are offered a taxpayer-funded job for six months and lose benefit if they refuse.

How will it be funded? £5.5bn cost over five years met by taxing bank bonuses and changing tax rules on high earners’ pensions.

What's the danger? The money isn’t there. The Tories say Labour has “spent” it several times over.

Pledge: Extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours a week.

How will it be funded? £800m cost paid for by a higher levy on the banks.

What's the danger? Banks could find the extra raid on their balance sheets undermines their profitability.

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