Mandelson hits out at Tory economic plans
Lord Mandelson accused the Tories of being in "disarray" over economic policy today as Labour called on David Cameron to make clear his plans for post-election cuts.
The Business Secretary said the Opposition was either trying to hide proposals which would "strangle the recovery at birth" from voters or had performed a major policy u-turn.
As pre-general election skirmishing continued, Labour seized on weekend assurances by Mr Cameron that there would be no "swingeing cuts" during the first year of a Conservative government.
The Tories previously stated they would move further and faster than Labour to tackle Britain's £178 billion budget deficit in a bid to reassure international markets and stabilise the economy.
However, Mr Cameron said while an incoming Tory government would make an immediate "start", there was a limit to what could be done in the first 12 months when the spending plans for the financial year were already in place.
Shadow chancellor George Osborne said some quick savings could be found by cutting government advertising, consultants and child trust funds for the better off.
Opening a press conference, Lord Mandelson said: "The challenge for the Conservative Party is to be clear about its immediate plans: how much is it planning to take out of this year's spending?
"So far all we see is confusion and disarray."
There would be "imminent dire consequences" of cutting spending too fast, he said.
"The Tories would strangle the recovery at birth. That is why the public is entitled to know the truth. Instead of bobbing around like a cork in water David Cameron should level with the British people.
"The impact on people's livelihoods and jobs could be riding on how the Tories make up their minds on their spending plans for this year.
"What we are witnessing from the Tories is either a dishonest rhetorical gloss to hide their true intentions or a remarkable intellectual collapse.
"Either way, it does not inspire confidence in this Laurel and Hardy duo.
"If Mr Cameron refuses to be clear, if he will not be honest, people will conclude that - for electoral reasons - he is hiding the truth and that the Conservatives' proposed cuts will indeed eat into the recovery and throw Britain back into recession and lost jobs."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...