Labour’s £25bn schools spending spree slammed by experts who branded the funding plans a gamble
LABOUR’S £25bn schools spending spree was slammed by experts yesterday who branded the funding plans a gamble.
The respected Education Policy Institute warned Jeremy Corbyn’s education splurge – the biggest spending pledge from a party in decades – relied on higher corporation tax and income tax hikes from the highest earners.
But experts said there was a “significant risk the actual revenues would be lower than budgeted” – leaving gaping holes in the cash binge.
Analysis by EPI also found a £2bn shortfall in the plans to scrap tuition fees.
Labour said abolishing fees and reinstating grants would cost £11.2bn.
But experts costed the move at £13.5bn saying it was a “questionable” priority and would benefit higher earners rather than lower paid graduates.
In addition experts blasted plans to get rid of all baseline tests in primary schools because of the potential for measuring a pupil’s progress throughout primary school.
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It came as the IFS think tank warned schools could still be left out of pocket by a Conservative pledge to boost education spending by £4 billion over the next five year.
Theresa May came under pressure after economic experts revealed pupil spending would still be cut by the Tories despite their £4bn manifesto cash injection.
The IFS said rising pupil numbers plus the effects of inflation would mean a cut of almost three per cent per pupil over the next Parliament - the same level of spending last seen in 2010.
IFS associate director Luke Sibieta said: “Labour would increase spending per pupil by around 6% after inflation over the course of the parliament, taking it to just above its previous historic high in 2015.
“Proposals from the Conservatives would lead to a near 3% real terms fall in spending per pupil over the parliament, taking it back to its 2010 level.”
It was a further blow to party chiefs as the Tory manifesto pledge to give free breakfasts to very primary school pupils was slammed for being hugely underfunded.
Tories estimated it would cost £60million but independent experts suggested it would cost £200-£400m