Yet again, Labour have been putting rhetoric over coherent economics. The party has been denouncing the Government’s fiscal proposals, with Sir Keir calling the package a “Kamikaze” budget and Jonathan Ashworth criticising “£45 billion of unfunded tax cuts”.
These attacks contain an element of self-harm because Labour support many of the proposals.
They plan to vote with the government on scrapping the Health and Social Care Levy, by far the biggest measure in the package, accounting for some 40% of unfunded spending. This is £18 billion of the £45 billion they decry.
Labour also supports the 1p cut to basic rate tax.
In the most generous interpretation, Labour supports billions in unfunded tax cuts, and oppose at most £27 billion.
None of it is a surprise after Rachel Reeves’s previous monetary mishaps. Guido would advise Labour to spend less time conjuring adversarial attack-lines and more on getting the numbers right. If Kwasi’s unfunded tax cuts are “kamikaze” economics, Labour’s economic platform is no different.