Labour's Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry refuses to rule out spending cuts over 'triple lock' pledge

9 June 2024, 12:13 | Updated: 9 June 2024, 12:23

Emily Thornberry speaks to LBC
Emily Thornberry speaks to LBC. Picture: LBC/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Emily Thornberry has refused to rule out spending cuts as a result of Labour's 'triple lock' pledge.

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Speaking on LBC's Sunday with Lewis Goodall, the shadow Attorney General said Labour would "put everything into growing our economy".

It comes as Labour is set to pledge no increase to income tax, national insurance or VAT for five years, if they win the General Election.

Asked if the move meant that Labour would need to make significant spending cuts in non-protected government departments, Ms Thornberry said: "No, I don't think so. The IFS has said that it's going to be hard and we accept that it's going to be hard.

"There are a whole range of things that we want to do and that we're not going to be able to do."

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Emily Thornberry provides a masterclass in not answering the question

When pressed on whether she could confirm there would be no spending cuts, Ms Thornberry said: "When you see our manifesto on Thursday, you will see what it is that were going to spend money on.

"You'll see where the money comes from and you will hear again and again the commitments that we're making to not raising national insurance, income tax and VAT.

"People have a choice: they can either choose that or they can choose the chaos of the Tories."

Ms Thornberry insisted: "What I'm saying is what I'm saying."

She added: "We will be putting everything into growing our economy because that is what we need to do."

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned both the Tories and Labour that their proposed plans would lock them into "sharp" spending cuts.

Neither of the main parties appear “serious about the underlying principle of getting debt falling”, the IFS said.

Both of the parties have said they are committed to meeting the fiscal rule of getting debt on a downward path between 2028-29 and 2029-30.

But the think-tank said that the future chancellor will be “fortunate” to meet its aim.

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