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  1. ITV Report

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

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:

Chancellor George Osborne. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
  • Conservatives
£30bn
of real cuts to unprotected departments needs to be explained

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.

The Conservatives have said they want to eliminate the deficit but provided next to no detail on how they would do it.

They should be forthcoming on the £5 billion of largely unspecified clampdown on tax avoidance, the £10 billion of unspecified cuts to social security spending and, according to our calculations, further real cuts to unprotected departments of around £30 billion.

– Soumaya Keynes, research economist
Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls. Credit: Tom White/PA Wire
  • Labour
£26bn
of borrowing needs to be accounted for

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.

Labour's proposed measures might be broadly enough to meet their target for only borrowing to invest.

But this would leave borrowing at £26 billion a year in today's terms.

If Labour wanted to reduce borrowing to a lower level than this they would have to spell out more detail of how they would get there.

– Rowena Crawford, senior research economist
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.