Chancellor Phillip Hammond has accused Labour of preparing to drop a tax “bombshell” on families – but refused to set out his own party’s fiscal plans.
In a speech in Central London, Hammond claimed Jeremy Corbyn would unleash “economic chaos” on Britain if he won the General Election.
A dossier released by the Tories today claims Corbyn has a £45billion gap between what he would raise in taxes and the money he would spend.
Labour angrily hit back at the analysis, accusing it of being “flimsy” and containing “error after error”.
Having attacked Labour, Hammond was challenged to reveal the Tories tax plans.
He replied: “We will set out our tax and spending plans in our manifesto as the Prime Minister has made clear.
“What we’re doing here this morning is analysing commitments Labour has already publically made.”
Since the election was called last month, Theresa May has been repeatedly pushed on her tax and spending policies.
In the final Prime Minister’s Questions before Parliament was dissolved, May refused to confirm if the so-called ‘triple lock’ on pensions – which sees them rise by at least 2.5% every year – would be kept should she win the election.
On the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday May did confirm that VAT would not rise under a Tory Government, but no such promise has been made for National Insurance Contributions (NICs).
Hammond was forced to perform an embarrassing u-turn in March when he scrapped an increase to NICs for self-employed workers following backbench unrest and a strong campaign from newspapers including The Sun.
Hammond today quipped that he had “heard very clearly The Sun’s view on National Insurance” and added: “We will set out our position in the manifesto.”
Hours before the press conference, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell attacked the BBC for repeating the Tory dossier without carrying out “some sort of analysis” of its claims.
He told Radio 4’s Today presenter Justin Webb: “In common parlance people would call these, what the Tories have published today, lies, absolute lies. I am shocked the BBC has just taken a Conservative press release and has repeated it all morning.
McDonnell added: “It’s shoddy that the Tories have produced it and also I have to say the BBC should have been critical before they ran with headlines that they’ve got.”