By Mark Wallace
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CCHQ have launched a new attack website, targeting the impact of Labour's policies on the cost of living. CostofLabour.com reveals the impact of higher government borrowing, higher council tax, fuel duty increases and so on – and links them to Miliband's opposition to welfare reform.
There are three things to note:
1) This is the first salvo in what is likely to become a major war between the Government and the Opposition over the cost of living. We can expect more attacks from both sides on the issue.
2) While it's a strong message and a neat website, CostofLabour is still quite a simple concept, working mostly of average costs. By contrast, the TPA's Tax Buster app and others show it is possible to do a more detailed, and thus a more interactive and accurate, estimate of the impact of parties' policies on the cost of living.
3) As well as landing punches on Miliband, the site is also a tool in CCHQ's logistical preparation for the General Election campaign. To get your calculation, you have to put in your email address, which goes into the database for party mailshots in future. This is a step above simply gathering emails – if they're smart, CCHQ will be enriching their database with the information people put in to get their Cost of Labour calculation, meaning they have readymade mailing lists of pensioners, motorists, homeowners and so on.