Via: http://news.sky.com/story/1470663/voters-left-in-dark-over-spending-cuts-says-ifs More links below
I thought I was seeing things when I opened this story. The story itself I will come back to but Nicola is now being talked about as a BIG PLAYER on May 7th. Have the media gone soft? Is this backwards propaganda? Or has Nicola won the hearts of too many people to be shoved to one side? As for the story I think it’s unfair to ask the SNP about this as they don’t have full fiscal responsibilities, Nicola can only do and say as much as she can, we don’t have a full say in the how’s and what’s. All Nicola has really done is reached out to Labour to oust the Tory party and then to keep Labour in promises. The main story here is main stream media have SNP & Nicola as big players in the coming weeks, maybe years
Voters are “somewhat in the dark”over the spending cuts planned by the four main parties, economists have warned with just two weeks to go to the General Election.
The highly respected think-tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has found that neither the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats nor the SNP had given “anything like full details” of how they would reduce the deficit.
After studying the manifestos of all four parties, the report says: “Unfortunately, the electorate is at best armed with only an incomplete picture of what they can expect from any of these four parties.” The report found that while the Conservatives had given more specific details about deficit reduction, saying the party would eliminate the deficit by 2017/18 and be in the black by 2018/19 it had refused to spell out how the cuts would be made.
It said the party’s plans were “predicated on substantial and almost entirely unspecified spending cuts and tax increases” and added the Conservatives had provided “next to no detail” on how they would put Britain back in the black. However, the report acknowledge that if the Conservatives did make the reductions planned, the national debt would be £90bn less than under Labours plans.
It called on the Conservatives to explain exactly where the £5bn the party says it will get from a tax avoidance clampdown will come from and to spell out the £10bn cuts on benefits spending. It also said the Tories needed to explain the £30bn “real cuts” to unprotected Whitehall departments. Conversely, the IFS said Labour had given very little detail on when it would balance the books and the level at which it would cut the deficit but had been far more clear on how it would achieve it.
The IFS said Labour had been “considerably more vague” about what it would look to borrow. Ed Miliband’s party has promised to put the country back in the black but has not said by when, and the IFS said it could only suggest that the plans would leave borrowing at £26bn a year. Senior research economist Rowena Crawford said: “If Labour wanted to reduce borrowing to a lower level than this they would have to spell out more detail of how they would get there.”
The IFS said the differences between the parties’ policies was greater than at any election since 1992. IFS deputy director Carl Emmerson said: “There are genuinely big differences between the main parties’ fiscal plans. “The electorate has a real choice, although it can, at best, see only the broad outlines of that choice.” The IFS said the Liberal Democrat plans, which – like the Conservatives – aim to eliminate the deficit by 2017/18 – were more transparent and contained austerity measures tougher than Labour but less harsh than the Tories.
Economic policy outlined by the SNP, whose campaign has been based around an anti-austerity message, actually “imply a longer period of austerity” with measures extending to 2019/20 when the other parties would have eased off on the spending cuts. Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he accepted the IFS analysis that the SNP would borrow more but said it would result in more public spending. He said the public was “fed up with austerity”.
The report comes as the parties focus their campaign on the economy during another day on the election trail. On a campaign visit to Cornwall, Mr Cameron said: “What the IFS show is that a Labour government would have to borrow £90 billion more. That would be a risk to our recovery, a risk to our economy, a risk to jobs.”
Mr Miliband dismissed the claim and said: “The IFS assumptions are based on three different things, which I frankly don’t accept.” He said the IFS had made to many assumptions about the party’s proposals and he did not believe the Tories were “even going to achieve their plans”.
Chancellor George Osborne highlighted an independent Treasury analysis, which he said suggested a Labour/SNP pact would cost families £350 each. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Osborne said the cost was because the SNP would add £6bn to Britain’s debt interest bill.
Mr Miliband responded by saying that figures from the International Monetary Fund show the austerity measures planned by the Tories were greater than in any of the world’s 33 advanced economies. He will say the scale of the cuts is unprecedented in any three-year period since the end of the Second World War.
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