UK's Javid says opposition Labour would trigger economic crisis
British finance minister Sajid Javid said the opposition Labour Party's spending plans would trigger an economic crisis within months, citing a contested dossier published by his Conservative Party and refusing to give costs for his own fiscal strategy.
Emer McCarthy reports.
With a general election just over a month away, British finance minister Sajid Javid didn't hold back when quizzed on the opposition Labour Party's spending plans-- citing a contested Conservative Party report.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER, SAJID JAVID, SAYING: ''These are eye-watering levels of spending - 1.2 trillion (pounds) - it will be absolutely reckless and will leave this country with an economic crisis within months, not years, within months." The Conservatives-- who are currently ahead in opinion polls, said the figure was based on Labour's manifesto for the 2017 election and estimates of more recent policy pledges.
But Labour has strongly dismissed the report, which said it would increase spending by 1.2 trillion pounds ($1.5 trillion) over the next five years, calling it fake news.
Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Javid stopped short of putting a price tag on his party's spending plans-- saying it would fully account for new spending when the party's manifesto is published.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER, SAJID JAVID, SAYING: ''We are going to have a fiscal anchor and we are going to be very clear about how we spend and borrow and it is always going to be controlled.
And that is a huge difference to where Labour is.
A huge difference" Labour has also pledged to explain how it would pay for its programme for government.
In a blow to the world's fifth largest economy, credit ratings agency Moody's warned on Friday (November 8) that it might cut its rating on Britain's sovereign debt again-- arguing that neither of the main political parties in next month's election was likely to tackle high borrowing levels which Brexit had made even harder to fix.
Javid said it was never good to be downgraded and blamed it on the "paralysis in decision-making" in a "dysfunctional parliament".