Conservatives keep up attack on Labour spending plans

War of words between the two parties continues

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The Conservatives have renewed their attack on what they claim are Labour’s “unfunded” spending plans as the war of words between the two parties continued.

Four Cabinet ministers wrote to their Labour counterparts challenging them to explain how they would pay for their policies. They were undeterred by Labour’s criticism of what it branded a “dodgy dossier” issued by the Tories on Monday which said Labour had made £20.7bn of unfunded spending commitments. Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, challenged Tristram Hunt, her opposition shadow, over £606m of proposed spending. She accused him of “chaos and confusion, denying your own policies while disputing their cost”.

Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, asked Hilary Benn about his explicit opposition to £3.3bn of local authority cuts. Elizabeth Truss, the Environment Secretary, quizzed Labour whether it would ban food waste from landfill sites at a cost of £477m. Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, asked the Opposition to spell out the cost of its justice policies.

Chris Leslie, the shadow Chief Treasury Secretary, said: “The four ministers who wrote these letters are in a hole and should stop digging. All these false claims and smears were dealt with. It’s now clear why George Osborne is so desperate to stop Labour’s proposal to let the Office for Budget Responsibility independently audit the manifesto spending and tax commitments of the main parties.”