Political party manifestos not giving 'full details' on deficit plans

Political party manifestos not giving 'full details' on deficit plans Credit: PA

None of the top political parties have provided "anything like full details" on plans to cut the deficit in their manifestos, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.

The think-tank said the electorate had been left "somewhat in the dark" over the size and scale of cuts planned by the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, SNP and Labour.

Here are the findings for each of the parties examined:

  • Conservatives

The IFS analysis found the party planned the largest reduction in borrowing over the course of the next Parliament.

It said the Tories would require either large spending cuts or tax increases to achieve this.

Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls. Credit: Tom White/PA Wire
  • Labour

The Opposition had been "considerably more vague" about how much it wants to borrow, the IFS said.

The pledge to produce a surplus but without specifying by when or how much could be consistent with a reduction in borrowing totalling 3.6% of national income.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire
  • Liberal Democrats

The IFS said the Liberal Democrats had been more transparent about overall fiscal plans to 2017-18, revealing that they are aiming for a tightening more than Labour but less than the Conservatives.

Stewart Hosie SNP treasury spokesman. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
  • SNP

The SNP's figures imply the same reduction in borrowing as Labour, the IFS said, although the reduction would be slower.

This means the SNP is proposing a slower but longer period of austerity, the think-tank said.