Quite Right Too




We’ve had Norman Smith declaring the Tory economy as ‘utterly terrifying’ and forecasting something of an Orwellian ‘Wigan Pier’ type future for the country and now we have Evan Davis declaring that Tory comments on Labour’s plans to raise £3000 worth of taxes from every family over 5 yearswere ‘ridiculous’.

But are they?  The IFS within hours of the Tory claim leapt into action to denounce it just as they did the Tory pledge to cut welfare by £12 bn…looking at the IFS website it is hard to find anything similarly critical of Labour….but, as the BBC insists, they are ‘independent’.

If Labour were to make no cuts and borrowed nothing then to clear the £70 billion deficit it would cost around £3,000 per household over the course of 5 years.

The Today programme  (around 06:10) was going to investigate the Tory claim in a measured and indepth way, or so I thought.  What they actually gave us, and described as a ‘tough interview by Evan’, was a clip of Evan Davis berating Grant Shapps and doing his usual trick of preventing any answer to develop by interrupting with claims that ‘It’s ridiculous’. Justin Webb told us that ‘Evan gets very upset about the figures when he thinks they are being misused…..and quite right too!’  No bias there then.

And that was that…the BBC’s most prestigious news and current affairs programme resorts to low abuse and playing clips that don’t explain anything but are purely there for the entertainment and amusement of the ‘Hampstead lefties’ ensconced at the BBC and the Guardian.


But who is being ‘ridiculous’?

Are the Tories right…at least in making the assumptions it does?

Here the one reliable journalist at the BBC agrees that Labour will have a £30 billion blackhole in their economic plans……

‘Andrew Neil: You would borrow more, wouldn’t you?

Andrew Neil: To bridge the deficit you have to borrow more. You’re going to borrow £30 billion a year simply to pay for public investment. That’s part of what you’re going to do – correct?

Lucy Powell: We are going to balance the books by the current expenditure by end of the Parliament.

Andrew Neil: And borrow £30 billion  a year for public investment


In 2010 Miliband was proposing a 50-50 split between raising taxes and spending cuts….

I’m told that the new Labour leader – who taught economics at Harvard during his sabbatical in 2003-2004 and chaired the Treasury’s Council of Economic Advisers for a year upon his return to the UK – is considering switching to a 1:1 (or 50 per cent to 50 per cent) ratio of spending cuts to tax rises, as advocated by Balls during the leadership campaign.


The IFS in 2014 was telling us that the state of the deficit means we will have to have….

  £70 billion of tax increases or spending cuts over the course of the next Parliament if the Government are going to balance the books.

The IFS admits that Labour may be looking at having to borrow up to that £30 billion to avoid making some cuts…

Ed Balls has said he wants to balance the books by then on current spending. That allows him more wiggle room – about £28 billion of it.

So that leaves £42 billion to find from cuts or taxes for Labour on the IFS figures…..and a 50-50 split would be £21 billion in extra taxes….which is higher than the Tories predict for Labour at £15 bn…but the IFS now claims….

So on the face of it Labour might need a fiscal tightening of just over £18 billion by 2017–18…Obviously, such a tightening – if half is to come from tax rises – would imply a net tax rise of around £9 billion in 2017–18 (and not the £15 billion the Conservatives suggest).

The IFS forgets the previous ‘fiscal tightening’ of £7.5 billion they mention earlier in their statement…taking it to nearly £26 billion…and a tax rise of not £9bn but £13 billion or so, nearer the £15 billion the Tories suggest….so one time the IFS predicts the tax rise would need be £21 billion, then their figures suggest £13 billion…but they claim it’s nearer £9 billion….who is guessing what?

Looks more like the IFS figures don’t add up than the Tories….the IFS rushed out their statement within hours of the Conservative claim and that being the case seems more politically motivated than based on sound number crunching…..paradoxically the IFS in their opening statement made clear that around £21 billion in tax take over 5 years was in fact what the Tories predicted…

The Conservative Party have claimed that under Labour there would be a £3,028 tax rise for every working household. This calculation assumes that Labour would increase taxes on working households by £7.5 billion in 2016–17 and £15 billion from 2017–18 onwards, with the £3,028 being the average tax rise cumulated over all years through to 2019–20.

So the Tory figures match the IFS’s…..or the IFS figures that you have to dig for in other IFS comments but which they don’t admit as their own estimate in their latest rebuttal.

Having denounced the Tories for ‘guesswork’ the IFS goes into detail about Labour’s policies in order to ‘prove’ the Tories wrong…but then they say this…..,

It is also not entirely clear – at least to us – when Labour would want to achieve current budget balance.

There is real uncertainty about what path the Labour party want to follow for the public finances. The Conservatives have been clearer about what they want to achieve, but they have not been clear about how they would achieve it.

There is little value in bandying around numbers which suggest either party would increases taxes by an average of £3,000 for each working household. We don’t know what they will do after the election. But neither of the two main parties has said anything to suggest that is what they are planning.



So..’It is also not entirely clear – at least to us …There is real uncertainty about what path the Labour party want… We don’t know what they will do after the election’. ……and yet they can still ‘disprove’ the Tory claim and ‘prove’ the Labour case!

The Tory figures are indeed ‘guesswork’ but based upon the information that is out there and what Miliband and co, and indeed the IFS, have said……the IFS seemed altogether too eager to undermine the claim and the BBC all too eager to jump on the bandwagon.







Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Quite Right Too

  1. Guest Who says:

    ‘Playing clips that don’t explain anything’

    One of many advantages of controlling the edit suite and using that renowned editorial integrity, that leaves its politics at the door, to use a £4Bpa broadcast system to spread their version of what the UK public gets to hear.


  2. Doublethinker says:

    Yes, it seems that under the strict impartiality code now in force in the run to the election, the BBC will analyse to death any Tory comment and cast doubt and criticism where ever they can. With Labour claims though the modus operandi is just to report the claim with no analysis and certainly no criticism.
    Of course the BBC are making great claim about their concentration on the facts and disregard of the hype from all parties. But this has only cut one way so far, the great leftwing biased state funded broadcaster is still working hard for a Labour victory.
    If the Tories form the next government despite this they must deal with the monster that the BBC has become.


    • Manonclaphamomnibus says:

      Nice party political broadcast on behalf of the Tory party.
      Couple of points for now.
      Firstly as to the Tory spending (or cutting plans) are clearer I seem to remember Ian Dunkin Smith saying the details of the cuts would not be released until AFTER the election! So is that clear? Answer is NO!

      Your reliable BBC reporter is an out and out Tory so I assume because you think he agrees with you he isnt biased in any way.That seems to be the yardstick on the site.

      As to borrowing and austerity you need to understand that there is no evidence that austerity brings economic growth. You only need to look at Greece to see what the Troika imposed cuts have done to the GDP in that country to realise cutting is not the way forward.
      In respect of borrowing and debt you do not appear to understand that some debts are good and some are bad. Neither do you seem to appreciate to current value of gilts and the very advantageous position in places the government in respect of borrowing. Indeed it was the very Andrew Neil that made this point on his show a couple of weeks back.

      Finally the thing that you could criticise the BBC over are the very assumptions you seem to accept.
      These are broadly that the only thing of importance in this election is the budget deficit and the only way of resolving the budget defict is through some measure of cut whether through government or through the private purse.
      No one is seriously looking at growth and the kind of sectors we need to grow in order to get full meaning employment .Without growth and a balanced economy we will end up a low productivity low wage economy with a low standard of services which under the Conservatives is the way we are heading.
      Moreover the BBC can be roundly criticised for not evaluating Tory policy and the claim they have caused the economy to grow.
      Where is the evidence?
      At this point good to remember that like government finaces the patient can be stone dead but in a highly stable condition!
      Also too that the UK were able to create a whole raft of services including the NHS with borrowing running above 200%.
      Check out the link for a full discussion:-


      • Demon says:

        “Your reliable BBC reporter is an out and out Tory ”

        Nurse, nurse more drugs for this delusional patient please.


        • Roland Deschain says:

          Now, now, I’m sure the BBC Rebuttal Unit HilariousChippyBusman will provide a link to that any second now.


          • Manonclaphamomnibus says:

            No need because you know Im right!


          • I Can See Clearly Now says:

            That ‘BBC reporter is an out and out Tory’ reply certainly strengthens the suspicion that Mr Busman is a BBC troll factory creation.

            Yesterday I caught the end of an interview with Dame Kirsty Wark on 5live. About 1:45. Dame Kirsty was basking in the adulation of the minions for her ‘famous’ interview with Maggie. She thought Maggie did nothing for women. At the end, she was asked about alleged BBC leftie bias. She replied that criticism comes equally from both sides ‘so we’re probably getting it right’.

            That argument has been around for at least 50 years. It could be that the Beeb does get equal numbers from both sides, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they write their own balancing set as required.


            • Selohesra says:

              I’ve just turned 50 so was probably not particularly aware of bias 50 years ago – but I think 30 years ago it was a lot fairer than it is now. Perhaps when left realized they had lost all the arguments they decided to infiltrate broadcast media (and not just BBC – Sky News is just as bad now)


      • richard D says:

        Picking on only one little bit of your post…

        “As to borrowing and austerity you need to understand that there is no evidence that austerity brings economic growth.”

        And excessive borrowing increases debt growth, not real economic growth, as we so sadly discovered from the last Labour government.


        • nofanofpoliticians says:

          Austerity in itself might not bring growth, but the lower debt ratios that result create a reduced interest burden which in turn engender an environment whereby revenue can be spent more positively (and not just on debt interest). This creates the circumstance where growth can emerge.

          That is a statement of the obvious.


  3. Manonclaphamomnibus says:

    FAO I cant see clearly now
    ‘BBC reporter is an out and out Tory ‘
    Check out the following:-


    • I Can See Clearly Now says:

      Brillo calls out bs wherever he finds it. He was clearly angry with Andrea Ledsom yesterday for doggedly repeating ‘We’re working for a majority’ rather than speculating about coalition arrangements and left her without a voice for what remained of the time. Tory HQ wouldn’t have been amused.


    • richard D says:

      Ho, ho, ho. You have found one reporter in the many thousands within the BBC who isn’t left of centre (and, of course, is well known not to be left of centre).

      But you will note from the post you seem to be criticising, that it was the lady in question herself who gave the game away, and could not, and did not, deny the truth of the position being posed to her by Andrew Neill – whose job it is to uncover these things. Fundamentally, you seem to disagree with anything being found out which might upset the BBC/Labour left-wing apple cartel.

      Yup. That’s balance for you – BBC style.


    • I Can See Clearly Now says:

      Brillo re-tweeted this:

      Tory HQ isn’t going to be able to “RT/promote” a Cameron/AFN interview as he’s been dodging him for 8 years!

      Laughing at Cameron for being frightened of him hardly seems the actions of a man promoting the Tories?


  4. s.trubble says:

    Was that Grant’s punishment on Newsnight last night for his recent coverage.
    He should have dressed up as Dick Emery and every time Davis interrupted him he could have given him……….

    ooh you are awful, but i like you!!


  5. Bodo says:

    Last week the BBC repeated ad nauseam Labour’s claim about “a tide of privatisation” in the NHS under the Tories.

    The last Labour government privatised 4.5% of NHS services. The Tories have privatised only another 1.5%.

    These figures are well known, yet the BBC still repeated the smear without any form of challenge whatsoever . However, if the Tories criticise labour the BBC, then the BBC jumps to Labours defence.


  6. Thoughtful says:

    Regardless of what posters might want to think the IFS IS independent and there is no doubt that the Tories have stretched the truth on their £3000 tax claim.
    Having aligned themselves with Labour and changed themselves into Labour light they think that they will benefit from the same turning of a blind eye to ridiculous claims.
    Camoron deserves everything he gets from trying to be a clone of Tony BLiar. As a Tory he can never benefit from the tidal wave of lies and disinformation which supported Nu Liebour, spewed from both Mandelson and Campbell.
    It is his own for being so naive as far as the BBC go. They’re not lying, just being selective about what is reported and what isn’t.


  7. Gunner says:

    Just watched “Reality Check” at 11.30. Brilliant performance by Anthony Reuben “Head of Statistics” at the Bleeb explaining why the upward revisions in growth rates, consumer confidence and living standards still means the economic recovery is rubbish (just the best in the OECD, but never mind this small detail).


    • Thoughtful says:

      And there speaks the voice of support for uncontrolled immigration !
      The sad thing is that Gunner probably doesn’t realise that he’s been conned, or perhaps even care yet it is undeniably the case that mass immigration gives a short term boost to the economy, and that is why Cameron has imported 650K of them in a single year!
      On top of that Osborne has sold over £20Bn bank shares which has vanished from the UK assets and the money has been used to again provide a kind of temporary improvement in government borrowing.

      Those of us with eyes to see know that the Tories have been engaged in cynical messing with economic metrics to try to show an improvement when the reality is that there is no improvement at all.


      • 60022Mallard says:

        “… has imported 650K of them in a single year!”

        Link please.

        “…has sold over £20Bn bank shares which has vanished from the UK assets and the money has been used to again provide a kind of temporary improvement in government borrowing.”

        And your calculation of the interest to be paid for the next however many decades if the money had not been used to reduce borrowing is …?

        The national debt is like the state credit card – the more you owe the more you have to pay in interest out of your income before you start to spend on the day to day items. Its also a bit like the NHS having to now pay for all the shiny hospitals that “Labour” built but forgot to pay for at the time.


      • I Can See Clearly Now says:

        UKIP unveiled a poster on immigration this morning. Nigel Farage delivered a remarkably sharp soundbite accusing Cameron of deceit. I thought it would look good on the One News – I never learn. It never appeared. They must have devoted twenty minutes to the election… but nothing.

        No doubt when UKIP have a poor presentation, the Beeb will be all over it. UKIP coverage as a major party – tick.


      • #88 says:

        ‘On top of that Osborne has sold over £20Bn bank shares which has vanished from the UK assets and the money has been used to again provide a kind of temporary improvement in government borrowing.’

        The £20m was borrowed in the first place….why shouldn’t it be used to reduce government borrowing?


        • Thoughtful says:

          The £20m was borrowed in the first place….why shouldn’t it be used to reduce government borrowing?

          You are missing the point here.

          If you have an asset worth £20 Bn and you sell that asset and use it to pay down debt then you are no better or worse off than you were before!

          The deceit here is in Osborne forgetting that he has reduced assets, yet crowing that he has reduced the deficit.


          • Gunner says:

            I suggest you take a short course on National Accounts since you clearly don’t understand the key issues on debt management.


          • richard D says:

            “If you have an asset worth £20 Bn and you sell that asset and use it to pay down debt then you are no better or worse off than you were before!

            Except that you have done what you aimed to do in the first place by buoying up the company whose shares you bought, you may well have have taken some gains in the process, you have not committed the government to being a long-term equity investor, and you have removed the risk inherent in owning shares. Each of these is a benefit to the country in itself.