Rishi Sunak dubbed Truss ‘tribute act’ as Labour warns of £4,800 mortgage hike

Tory spending plans will pile a massive £4,800 on mortgage bills over five years, Rachel Reeves has warned.

The Shadow Chancellor accused Rishi Sunak and co of “gaslighting” voters with unfunded manifesto pledges, which she branded “dishonest” and “irresponsible”. A document produced by Labour number-crunchers said: “Rishi Sunak presented himself as the antidote to the chaos of Liz Truss, but he has instead become a tribute act, making the same mistakes, with the same likely results.

“He is desperate. His party has turned on him and he is trying to salvage whatever he can from his abysmal political record and his chaotic election campaign.” Ms Reeves accused the PM of making £71billion of unfunded promises when he unveiled his manifesto on Tuesday morning.

She told a press conference in Westminster that if Mr Sunak thought cutting National Insurance by a further 2p by 2027 could be done, he’d have done it in a budget. Ms Reeves warned: “Instead of drawing a line on the chaos he’s determined to write the next chapter.”

Ms Reeves branded the PM a Liz Truss 'tribute act'

Ms Reeves branded the PM a Liz Truss ‘tribute act’

And she warned: “The Conservatives are gaslighting you and no one will believe their claims.” And she went on: “The money is simply not there for what they are proposing.” And she vowed not to get into an “arms race” of unfunded pledges.

Asked if Labour would match the Tory plan to cut National Insurance, the party’s finance chief said: “If they thought the money was there, they would have done this in a budget. Instead they’ve done this in a manifesto.”

The Labour frontbencher vowed not to raise VAT, income tax or National Insurance contributions over the next Parliament if Labour win. She also said she has “no plans” to hike capital gains tax. Ms Reeves said: “Every policy we announce will be fully funded and fully costed.”

A document produced by Labour found that someone with an 85% mortgage on an average house in the UK could be saddled with a £4,800 mortgage hike over the next Parliament.

Ms Reeves also picked apart Mr Sunak’s pledge to force 18 year olds to do National Service – saying the numbers don’t add up. She said: “Their costings for their plan omit the costs of equipment, accommodation or training of the 30,000 new military recruits. On any reasonable assessment, that plan will cost double their costings, and it would consume the entire revenue that they can reasonably expect to raise from cracking down on tax avoidance. That leaves many of their remaining plans unfunded.”

She also said Mr Sunak’s pledge to raise £6billion by cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion won’t deliver.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) economic think tank was sceptical about the Tories’ ability to raise the money needed for the plans. Director Paul Johnson said: “The Conservatives have promised some £17 billion per year of tax cuts, and a big hike in defence spending.

“That is supposedly funded by reducing the projected welfare bill by £12 billion; cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion; and saving billions from cutting civil service numbers, reducing spending on management consultants, and ‘quango efficiencies’. Those are definite giveaways paid for by uncertain, unspecific and apparently victimless savings. Forgive a degree of scepticism.”

Labour has already branded Mr Sunak’s manifesto “the most expensive panic attack in history”. In a pre-emptive attack on the Tory election promises, Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth branded the Tory spending plans a “fraud on the electorate” and filled withunfunded commitment after unfunded commitment”.

He rubbished Tory claims that billions of pounds can be saved through a draconian welfare shake-up. He also said the PM’s controversial National Service plan will cost twice what Mr Sunak says it will. The Conservatives are set to publish their manifesto on Tuesday.

t came as Mr Ashworth warned the Conservatives will not deliver on a promise to rake in £12billion through welfare reform and £6billion by cracking down on tax avoidance. Mr Ashworth told an event in Westminster: “If they claim that they have £12billion of welfare savings to spend elsewhere, that is a flagrant lie. It must be understood and called out.”

Mr Ashworth went on: “The Tories sums do not add up. The money is simply not there.” Labour analysis suggests Government welfare shake-ups, announced with a lot of fanfare in April, will deliver zero savings.

Mr Ashworth said changes to Work Capability Assessments and reform of fit notes won’t save the Treasury any money. And the Labour frontbencher added that the Government has failed to put forward concrete plans to reform Personal Independence Payments (PIPs), meaning there is no plan for savings.

He said: “Tory tax and spending plans are a fraud on the electorate. When they make more desperate promises, funded by £12billion of imaginary welfare savings or £6billion of inflated and already spent the tax avoidance savings… that is alarming.”

Mr Ashworth also questioned Mr Sunak’s claim that the National Insurance plan would cost £2.5billion – claiming Labour analysis found it would cost double that.