Labour will today launch an assault on the Conservative’s proposed spending cuts, accusing the party of wanting to cut government spending to a “share of national income last seen in the 1930s – a time before there was an NHS.”
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls will deliver the attack in a central London speech.
Labour’s charge comes from an analysis by the government’s fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility.
However, some economists have said previously that Labour is misusing the figures.
“If the Conservatives win the election they will neither, despite what the opposition would have us believe, destroy the NHS nor return the welfare state to some Dickensian, or at least 1930s, level of provision,” said Paul Johnson, director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, a think tank, in January.
Economist David Smith, a visiting professor at Derby Business School, has said an accurate comparison would take government spending as percentage of GDP to something close to 41 per cent, levels last seen in 2001.