Does Labour’s manifesto add up? Here’s a ConHome series to investigate – named, of course, in homage to the Shadow Home Secretary’s policing plan.
The Policy: Create a £250 billion infrastructure fund
Let’s return to Funding Britain’s Future. Under the heading ‘National Transformation Fund’ (NTF), the Opposition claim they’ll pump £250 billion into funding an expansive definition of ‘infrastructure’: “transport, energy systems, communications – scientific research, and housing fit for the 21st Century.”
The Problem: It’s straightforwardly un-costed
No beating about the bush here: this is a vast public spending commitment and Labour haven’t given voters any firm idea of how they’re going to pay for it.
Remember, Funding Britain’s Future makes much of how it ‘carefully‘ balances the Opposition’s new spending plans with new revenues. But the combined figure for all the measures included in those tables is £48.6 billion – or one fifth of the NTF, which isn’t included.
According to Jeremy Warner in the Daily Telegraph, most of this eye-watering sum is apparently going to be ‘leveraged’ from private investors. As he puts it: “Good luck with that one.”