Politicians have made a lot of promises ahead of the general election – this is how we report on them fairly

Some pledges are quite obviously unrealistic; others not so much. All the voters can do is use them as an indication of the direction in which the parties want to take the country

John Rentoul
Monday 25 November 2019 01:44 GMT
The Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell
The Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell (Reuters)

I have bad news for the Waspi women. I do not believe that they will get an average of £15,000 if a Labour government is elected on 12 December. The Waspis – it stands for “women against state pension inequality” – are rightly upset about David Cameron raising the women’s pension age, which robbed them of pensions to which they were entitled and on which many of them had relied.

After Boris Johnson said on Thursday that he would like to help but couldn’t “magic up” the money, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, appeared on TV on Sunday. He said a Labour government would compensate the women born in the 1950s, at a total cost of £58bn over five years.

This was not in Labour’s manifesto published just three days earlier, and McDonnell couldn’t say how it would be paid for, except to suggest it might come out of the contingency funds that any government puts aside for emergencies.

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