Labour Launches ‘Responsibility Lock’ Manifesto

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Economic responsibility will be front and centre of Labour’s Manifesto, being launched in Manchester later.

The party will use the first page of the election document to make a “Budget Responsibility Lock” pledge, claiming every policy is paid for.

The manifesto states: “Not one commitment requires additional borrowing. We are the first party to make that pledge and with this manifesto it is delivered.”

Ed Miliband will promise that all of his party’s commitments will be fully-funded, refuting Conservative claims that Labour’s plans would lead to economic chaos.

He will say: “The very start of our manifesto is different to previous elections.

“It does not do what most manifestos do. It isn’t a shopping list of spending policies.

“It does something different: its very first page sets out a vow to protect our nation’s finances; a clear commitment that every policy in this manifesto is paid for without a single penny of extra borrowing.”

The party says it will cut the deficit every year, placing the promise on “the first line of Labour’s first budget”.

Labour also says it will legislate to require all major parties to have their manifesto audited by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.

Mr Miliband will also attack Tory economic plans saying: “In recent days you have seen the Conservatives throwing spending promises around with no idea of where the money is coming from, promises which are unfunded, unfair and unbelievable.

“That approach is bad for the nation’s books. And nothing is more dangerous to our NHS than saying you will protect it without being able to say where the money is coming from. You can’t help the NHS with an IOU.”

This is a direct attack on the Tories’ extra £8bn pledge on the NHS announced on Friday and it is striking that Labour now thinks it stands as the party of economic credibility.

But speaking ahead of Labour’s manifesto launch, Chancellor George Osborne said: “It’s clear Labour’s manifesto will be a dangerous cocktail of higher taxes and more debt that will cost jobs and cut incomes.

“Labour must now answer two questions: Which taxes are they planning to increase to pay for it? And what is Ed Miliband willing to trade in the event he needs to be propped up by the SNP?”

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