EU Referendum: Vote Leave Accused Of 'Fantasy Economics' As £111bn Spending Blackhole Revealed

'Brexit' health, schools and low tax promises 'exposed'

31/05/2016 11:05

Boris Johnson and the campaign to Leave the European Union has been accused of indulging in "fantasy politics" after making more than £100 billion in spending commitments it is unlikely to meet.

Leading figures backing 'Brexit' today said they want powers back from the EU to scrap VAT on fuel to help the poorest households - warning British politicians are powerless to scrap the “unfair and damaging” tax while Britain remains in the EU.

But the rival Stronger In campaign responded by arguing the claims ring hollow since the Vote Leave has made £111bn in spending promises - more than ten times the net £10bn saving they claim would be made on a 'Yes' vote.

It cites figures including Johnson and Michael Gove promising more health spending, increased school places and lower taxes - promises Stronger In argues it cannot hope to keep.

This is the fill list Stronger In has compiled.

Stronger In

More funding for the NHS has been a central plank of the Vote Leave campaign.

The strap-line “let’s give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week” has been emblazoned across its "battlebus"making its way around the country, though the campaign has been reprimanded for using the statistic - with even campaigners for Leave angry about its mis-use.

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Boris Johnson with the Vote Leave campaign bus - which includes its NHS spending claim

But its health promises from raising pay for junior doctors to abolishing prescription charges would cots £18.2 bn, itself more than the £10 bn saved by 'Brexit', says Stronger In.

The figure stems from the suggestion the UK sends £10 billion to the EU each year. But Remain campaigners suggest this is as little as 26p each a day – half the price of a Mars bar - and the benefits far outstrip the investment.

Will Straw, executive director of Britain Stronger In Europe, said: “The Leave campaign has been exposed once again for promoting fantasy economics. There would be no saving and no tax cuts because our economy would be damaged by leaving.”

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