Ed Miliband will issue a stark warning that another term of Conservative government would put family budgets, the NHS and the country’s future “at risk”.
The Labour leader’s claim that millions of working people would suffer will be seen as an attempt to create a “fear factor” about a Tory administration.
In a strongly personal attack, he will come close to accusing the Prime Minister of lying by making “false promises” to voters during the election campaign.
It is a direct riposte to Tory claims that a post-election deal between Labour and the Scottish National Party would wreck the economy, which all the parties believe may be winning back some Tory defectors who have switched to Ukip.
The two main parties appear to be “going negative” and relying on the “politics of fear” as they try to break the deadlock between them before the election on 7 May.
Mr Cameron will raise the prospect of Britain being gripped by political paralysis and the economic chaos of higher spending under a weak Ed Miliband government, propped up by the SNP. He will set out plans to guarantee taxes do not rise under a Tory government and accuse Labour of failing to come clean about their tax rise plans.
Speaking in London, Mr Miliband will denounce the Tory campaign for dishonesty and recklessness.
“We’ve heard a lot from David Cameron in the last five weeks,” he will say. “False promises, dangerous unfunded commitments dreamt up overnight with no idea of where the money is coming from and a plan to pay for the NHS with an IOU.”
A senior Labour source mocked Mr Cameron’s vision of the “good life” under a Conservative government.
“They would damage working families’ living standards, damage their children’s prospects and damage the NHS. The Tories are planning big cuts – this is not The Good Life, it’s Hard Times.”
Mr Miliband will claim the Tories’ plans for £12bn of welfare cuts would mean a £3.8bn raid on tax credits, which top up the incomes of low earners.
He will tell voters: “If the Tories get back in on 8 May, your family budget is at risk. Another five years of Tory government will mean a plan to double the pace of cuts next year, a plan that puts your family budget, your NHS and our country’s future at risk.”
He will cite a new House of Commons Library analysis showing that families with one child would lose tax credits when their incomes hit £23,000 a year, leaving them over £1,600 a year worse off; families with two children would lose tax credits when their incomes hit £29,000, leaving them over £2,000 worse off and families earning £12,000 or more would lose at least £550 a year.
Mr Miliband will promise that no government led by him would ever cut tax credits, announcing that Labour would increase them at least by inflation each year. He will say: “This election is not about any one politician or any one political party. It is about you, the people, because elections are when you have the power.
“This is your time, your moment, your chance to get the change your family needs. A chance that only comes once every five years; a chance to make a choice to put your family first; a chance to change the way our country is run so it does not put the richest and most powerful first; a chance to make Britain work for working families once again.”
Despite a return to economic growth, Labour believes that many families are not feeling the benefits of the recovery, justifying Mr Miliband’s claim of a “cost of living crisis”.
Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, will say: “Before the last election we warned that the Tories would cut tax credits for families earning £30,000. The Tories said this was a lie, but then did exactly as Labour warned after the election.
Mr Cameron will today promise that within 100 days of a Tory victory, he would legislate to ensure taxes are kept down through the lifetime of the next parliament.
His “five-year tax lock” would guarantee that there would be no increases in income tax rates, no rises in VAT nor extension of its scope and no increases in National Insurance.
Arguing that Britain faces its biggest choice on the economy for a generation, Mr Cameron will say: “When it comes to your tax bill: do you trust the people who taxed you to the hilt when they were in power and still haven’t come clean about the taxes they want to increase next time round?
“Or do you trust the Conservatives, who have cut income taxes for 26 million people, and who will cut your taxes again next time?”
The Conservatives claim Labour has left the door open to large tax rises if it wins the election because the party has only promised not to increase the rates of income tax and National Insurance and not the thresholds at which the bands kick in.
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