POLITICS

Conservatives Have No 'Master Plan' For Where Spending Cuts Will Come From, Admits Chris Grayling

28/04/2015 00:48 BST | Updated 28/04/2015 09:59 BST
Dave Thompson/PA Archive
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling speaking at Association of Chief Police Officers' conference in Manchester.

The Conservative Party does not have a plan of where it will make public spending cuts should it win the election on May 7, justice secretary Chris Grayling has admitted.

David Cameron has said the Conservatives will make £30bn of savings over the next two years and eradicate deficit by 2017-18. But the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said voters remain "somewhere in the dark" over where any cuts will come from.

Conservative ministers, including George Osborne and culture secretary Sajid Javid, have struggled in media interviews to explain where the axe will fall as well as where the party will find the money to fund commitments such as an extra £8bn for the NHS.

Speaking at a general election debate in Finchley, north London, on Monday evening, Grayling was challenged over the detail of the Conservative Party's public spending plans.

"At the moment we've got some things that are in the pipeline that we have already done, others that we we will have to start. This is an ongoing programme," he said.

"My point is, we have already demonstrated we can do this. And no, we haven't taken all the decisions at this point. There isn't some master plan sitting there waiting to be deployed the day after the election."

Grayling made the admission after the host, Sky News' Samantha Simmonds, said the Conservatives had simply been "tinkering around the edges" when it came to letting voters know where cuts would be made. "Is it the case, actually, the party doesn't know?" she had asked.

The IFS has been critical of all the main parties for failing to adequately explain to voters how they will meet their spending commitments. "Unfortunately, the electorate is at best armed with only an incomplete picture of what they can expect from any of these four parties," the think-tank concluded in a recent report that examined the manifestos.