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IEA -Labour manifesto lacks seriousness on deficit reduction

Reaction to the launch of the Labour Party's Manifesto

Mark Littlewood, Director-General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on the launch of the Labour Manifesto.

“This manifesto does little to inspire confidence in Labour’s ability to manage Britain’s economy.  With an annual deficit still running at a staggering £90 billion, vague pledges to merely reduce it each year are simply not good enough.

“What little detail we have is exemplified by funding giveaways through price caps, fare freezes, levies and wealth taxes. This smacks of the politics of envy and is liable to reduce competition and investment in the UK.

“Politicians need to be honest with the public about their fiscal plans and wake up to the size of the debt time bomb in the UK. Very significant spending restraint and reform of welfare entitlements will be necessary in the next Parliament and beyond to begin to get our debt levels back under some semblance of control.”

On banning zero hours contracts, Mark Littlewood said:

“If Labour want to ensure job opportunities for all, they should open their eyes to the benefits zero hours contracts can provide. Not everyone is able to work at fixed regular times and flexible contracts such as these offer the opportunity of employment to students, single parents and many more. Doing away with this flexibility would see opportunities for these individuals dramatically reduced.”

On Labour’s plans to freeze rail fares, Mark Littlewood said:

“The railways already receive a disproportionate amount of government funding and this proposal will further tip the balance in favour of rail users. Not only does this amount to a subsidy which will tend to benefit the rich, but drivers will feel particularly aggrieved because they contribute around £35 billion a year to the Treasury in fuel duty and road tax, but only a fraction of this is spent on road infrastructure.”

Notes to Editors:

To arrange an interview please contact : Stephanie Lis, Head of Communications on  0207 799 8900 or 07766 221 268.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.
 

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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