Labour manifesto ‘not sum total’ of spending plans, says Wes Streeting

Wes Streeting is interviewed on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg
Wes Streeting is interviewed on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg - Jeff Overs/BBC

Labour’s manifesto is not the “sum total” of its spending plans, Wes Streeting has admitted.

The shadow health secretary said the document does not cover all of his party’s plans to pump billions more into public services such as the NHS if elected.

Speaking to Sky News, he said Labour would only spend more taxpayers’ cash if the economy grows enough to make doing so affordable.

He insisted: “We will not make promises we cannot keep or that the country cannot afford.”

The Tories said his remarks showed “Labour simply aren’t telling the truth about their plans” to increase public spending, adding that he had “let the cat out of the bag”.

A spokesman said: “After a three-day long conspiracy of silence, Wes Streeting has finally said what we all know.

“Labour’s manifesto is just window dressing for the election campaign, and they are planning to spend and tax more than they are telling the public.

“Labour is trying to get through this campaign by not being honest with families about the true cost of their plans and the cost to families up and down the country in higher taxes on your home, your car, your business and your pension.”

Sir Keir Starmer last week unveiled Labour’s blueprint for Britain at a general election campaign in Manchester, promising tax increases of £8.3 billion and the recognition of a Palestinian state.

The party was criticised for setting out just one year’s worth of costs for its policies, despite Sir Keir insisting all his plans would be “fully costed”.

The party’s manifesto only provides a breakdown of the revenues it would raise and the amount of money it would spend for 2028-29 – which would be the final year of its first term.

Conservative officials said the lack of detailed figures for the first four years of Labour’s time in power showed that its plan for the country was “totally unserious”.

Mr Streeting also declined to rule out council tax increases or revaluations during Sunday’s interview.

Pressed on whether this could happen under a Labour government, he repeated the party’s line: “We don’t want to see the tax burden on working people increase...

“None of those pledges in our manifesto requires increases in council tax or increases in fuel duty or any of the other number of taxes the Tories are claiming we want to increase.”