Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has claimed the Department for Transport (DfT) could have ‘no day-to-day budget left at all’ after the election, under Conservative spending plans.
The former Labour secretary of state this week stated that in order to keep to their commitments on spending, tax and the deficit the Conservatives would need to make cuts which added up to £70bn over the next five years.
Given Tory plans to make £12bn savings in benefits and tax credits, Mr Balls said this could leave £58bn to be cut from unprotected services.
‘If each department were to get the same share of these £58bn of cuts they had done in this parliament it would mean key government departments would be virtually eradicated – a total of three would exist, in so far as their daily budgets are concerned,’ he argued.
‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Transport would actually have no day-today budgets left at all while others such as the Department for Communities and Local Government would almost cease to exist.’
Labour has called for an independent National Infrastructure Commission and for £30bn to be devolved to city and county regions through a local growth funding programme.
Conservative chairman Grant Shapps dismissed Mr Balls’ claims, saying he was ‘making this up on the back of an envelope’.