‘Totally unserious’ Labour manifesto only contains costings for a single year

Sir Keir has repeatedly defended Labour's policies by insisting everything in the manifesto would be fully costed
Sir Keir has repeatedly defended Labour's policies by insisting everything in the manifesto would be fully costed - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

Labour has been criticised for setting out just one year’s worth of costs for its policies - despite Sir Keir Starmer repeatedly 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 - set to be the last 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”.

Labour defended the decision to only provide one year of numbers, saying that it had chosen the point at which the spending required for its policies would be highest.

The manifesto states: “We have used the last year of the most recent Office for Budget Responsibility forecast (2028-29) which represents the highest annual cost of the policies.”

But the approach is different to that taken by the Tories, who on Tuesday published a manifesto which included costings for each of the next five five years.

A Conservative source told The Telegraph: “Labour have not laid out tax and spending plans for the next five years, only showing one year - and that’s in four years time.

“Their manifesto says nothing about the next three years. This is totally unserious.”

The row comes after Sir Keir repeatedly defended Labour’s policies - and its refusal to match Government pledges - by insisting everything in the manifesto would be fully costed.

He has used the line to repeatedly bat away questions about whether he plans to raise taxes when he enters office to pay for more spending on public services.

Asked about capital gains tax this week, he told The Guardian: “I’m not going to write five years’ worth of budgets three and a half, four weeks before an election.

“But I am going to say we’re fully costed, fully funded, and that none of our plans require tax rises over and above the ones we’ve already set.”

The two main parties have been locked in a bitter battle over each other’s spending plans, with each accusing the other of coming up with fantasy figures.

Rishi Sunak has claimed that Labour’s plans would require tax rises of more than £2,000 per household which the party has yet to set out to voters.

Labour has called those claims ludicrous and has itself accused the Tories of publishing a series of “uncosted” promises, such as the reintroduction of National Service.

It has said the Tories have made £71 billion-worth of unfunded promises, most of which comprises the party’s long-term ambition to abolish National Insurance.

The repeated rows have seen economic competency become the core theme of the election, with both leaders vying to take the high ground.

Recent polls, including a YouGov poll carried out last December, show that Labour has overtaken the Tories on who voters trust more on the economy.