'Tory spending plans will end in £10bn shortfall'

The Tories have opened a £10bn black hole in their spending plans by pledging to lift the starting point for inheritance tax to £1m and to cut stamp duty for first-time homebuyers, according to Yvette Cooper, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Ms Cooper also accused George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, of making empty promises on cutting taxes, which she said could lead to cuts in spending on health, education or affordable housing.

"George Osborne has lost control of the Shadow Cabinet," she said. "Last week Andrew Lansley was promising increases in health spending. Now they are promising tax cuts. It just doesn't add up."

Philip Hammond, the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said Ms Cooper's attack was an attempt to distract attention from next week's Budget.

The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, is under growing pressure from Labour MPs to tackle fuel poverty with a windfall profits tax on the gas and electricity companies, which have raised prices by up to 15 per cent.

The Tories said their proposals for cutting corporation tax to 27p would be fully funded by scrapping existing reliefs and exemptions; and a marriage tax allowance would be funded by increases in other taxes, such as green taxes.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in