Tory claims on pension and benefits spending don’t add up


9:05 am - March 16th 2011

by Don Paskini    


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Earlier this week Tory HQ, under the direction of George Osborne, put together a briefing about “Ballsonomics”, which claimed to set out £12 billion of unfunded spending pledges which Labour had made.

I had a quick look, and the first, and largest, claim was that Labour were planning to spend an extra £5.8 billion on pensions and benefits in 2014/15.

What the Tories did in the 2010 budget was to decide to use a different measure of calculating how much benefits and pensions should go up in the future, to reduce increases. Labour has agreed that this should be a temporary measure for three years, but opposes plans to make it permanent.

If you look at the Treasury table, the only way that Labour’s plans would cost an extra £5. 8 billion would be if they decided not only to change the measure of inflation back, but also backdated it and increased benefits and pensions not only by Retail Price Inflation, but also by an extra amount equal to the difference between Retail Price and Consumer Price Inflation between 2011 and 2014.

Which, needless to say, isn’t what Labour have proposed.

That’s nearly half of all of the extra spending what the Tories claimed that Labour was promising, and it took fewer than two minutes to check that the claim was nonsense.

It says a lot about how desperate the Tories are getting, and not much for George Osborne and chums’ maths skills.

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About the author
Don Paskini is deputy-editor of LC. He also blogs at donpaskini. He is on twitter as @donpaskini
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Conservative Party ,Economy ,Westminster

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Reader comments


That’s the kind of creative mathematics that comes out of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance. It’s not usually a problem so see through TPA figures when they’ve been cooked, or even lightly fried, so anything coming out of 11 Downing Street using the same skill set should be similarly obvious.

2. James Alexander

Can you give a link to “what Labour have proposed”? Mightily concerned pensioner asking. Thanks.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

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  2. salardeen

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  3. Jane Phillips

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  4. Ross Haffenden

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  5. Owen Millard

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  6. Mel from Leeds

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  9. Paul Wood

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  10. BendyGirl

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  14. Caer

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  17. Ban T-shirts UK

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