Labour borrow £1 trillion?

Full Fact: the meaning of the figure is "ambiguous"

New Statesman

Theresa May is distorting my book to attack Labour. Here's what it really says

In her conference speech earlier this month Theresa May claimed that Labour had now admitted their manifesto at the last election would have costed one trillion pounds. "You heard me right - one thousand billion pounds", she added, for the benefit of those unsure what one trillion meant. She repeated the claim at PMQs a few weeks ago. I suspect it's not the last time it'll get trotted out.

I feel some responsibility, since I am fairly sure this is a result of a couple of lines in a book I've just published on the 2017 election.

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fullfact.org

Would Labour borrow a trillion pounds?

"Labour would borrow one trillion to cover their promises,"

Giles Watling MP, 1 November 2018.

"That's absolute nonsense,"

Andy McDonald MP, 1 November 2018.

This claim has a fairly roundabout origin: it was originally that Labour would spend, not borrow, one trillion pounds. It originates from reports of Labour Party insiders saying that there were significant spending commitments in its last manifesto that weren’t fully costed.

But the meaning of the figure is ambiguous. We don’t know if the claim refers to a trillion pounds of spending in total (the government currently spends around £840 billion a year), or a trillion pounds of additional spending over an undetermined number of years.

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Daily Express

'Debt BURDEN!' Tory MP BLASTS Labour's 'pie in the sky' finance strategy

TORY DEPUTY Chairman James Cleverly called Labour’s financial strategy “headline-grabbing” and a “pie in the sky”, while arguing that the proposal would not be funded by the “notional” one percent.

James Cleverly blasted the Labour's Party's financial strategy, claiming it would create a "debt burden" for working class people.

Speaking on talkRADIO, the Tory MP said: "The simple truth of the matter is we've crunched the numbers, there was a trillion pounds - a thousand billion pounds - of hidden spending commitments for the Labour manifesto, 500 billion of which there was absolutely no reference at all to where that money would come from.

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