“Brextremist” Leave campaigners have been slammed today for creating a £58.7bn black hole in the public finances which could be better spent on vital infrastructure and public services.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has calculated that, of the £122bn forecast increase in borrowing over the next five years, £58.7bn will be directly caused by the damage to the economy caused by the vote to leave the EU.
Research by Open Britain has unveiled some of the things that money could be better spent on – including nearly 1,000 primary schools, over 100 state-of-the-art hospitals, more than two million nurses, and 2,000 miles of new motorway.
Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, has slammed the “Brextremists”, and said they must be “held accountable for the economic damage revealed in the Autumn Statement.”
Writing in the Mirror, Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“This week the Chancellor laid bare the first official estimate of the cost of Brexit – and it made for eye-watering reading.
“The Government’s independent number crunchers – the Office for Budget Responsibility – estimated that as a direct consequence of the referendum result, we would be borrowing an extra £58.7bn over the next few years.
“That is not the total sum of extra borrowing, which is an even higher £122bn. The £58.7bn is the specific bill for Brexit – a whopping £226 million a week, every week, lost from lack of business confidence, lower growth and increased inflation.
“I know many Mirror readers may have been frustrated with aspects of the EU over the years, but at no point in the referendum campaign were we told that leaving could cost us an extra £58bn.
“Predictably, leading Tory Brextremists have attacked the forecasters for doing their job. But shooting the messenger won’t change the economic impact of the cause they championed.
“They talked during the campaign about taking back control. But now they need to be held accountable for the economic damage revealed in the Autumn Statement.
“Just think what nearly £60 billion could buy if it was channelled into public services, rather than paying for Brexit. The Open Britain campaign calculate that it could pay the wages of over two million nurses or allow us to build 10,000 primary schools. It could fund the HS2 rail project in its entirety, with enough left over to build a high-speed line between Manchester and Leeds as well. 18 aircraft carriers AND 26 Eurofighter Typhoons; 2,000 miles of new motorway; three nuclear power stations – the list goes on.
“There are thousands of ways to spend that cash better than on filling a Brexit black hole – easing pressure on the NHS, improving our children’s education, or investing in our communities. Instead, we are throwing this money away and with it, the opportunities it could have otherwise provided for people up and down the country.
“Leavers told us that Brexit would mean more money for public services – most notably a fictitious extra £350 million a week for the NHS. The opposite is true. And they should now take responsibility for this huge Brexit bill. But we need more than that. The Government must now rule out a hard, destructive Brexit, which will only make these already grim figures worse.
Pat McFadden’s piece in the Mirror is here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-right-must-now-take-9327184
10 items of public spending, each of which cost £58.7bn, are as follows:
- 2,330,660 nurses (Source: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/about/careers-nhs/nhs-pay-and-benefits/agenda-change-pay-rates)
- 835,540 GPs (Source: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/about/careers-medicine/pay-doctors)
- 108 state-of-the-art NHS hospitals (Source: http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/new-hospital-partnerships.htm)
- 2,110,486 teachers (Source: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/teacher-salaries).
- 9,800 primary schools (Source: http://www.building.co.uk/cost-model-primary-schools/5056116.article)
- 18 Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers (Source: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131106/debtext/131106-0001.htm#13110656000003), with enough left over to buy 26 Eurofighter Typhoons (Source: http://www.armedforces.co.uk/raf/listings/l0028.html)
- Build HS2 (£50.1bn, Source: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/ldeconaf/134/13406.htm) with enough left over to build a high speed Manchester to Leeds line (£5bn+, Source: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/download/5969/one_north)
- Build Boris Island airport (£47.3bn, Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2502512/Welcome-London-Britannia-Airport-Plans-47-3bn-runway-Thames-Estuary-Boris-Island-revealed-consortium-wants-scrap-Heathrow.html) with enough left over to also expand Gatwick (£9.3bn, Source: http://www.cityam.com/252197/heathrow-numbers-much-cost-delivered)
- 3 nuclear power stations (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/21/hinkley-point-reactor-costs-rise-by-2bn-as-deal-confirmed)
- 1,957 miles of motorway (Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13924687). That’s more than ten times longer than the M1.