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Labor is challenging the Tories to a TV debate over a £2,000 tax claim

The Treasury permanent secretary told Labor that Tory claims about the opposition’s tax and spending plans “should not be presented as if they were produced by the civil service”.

Rishi Sunak’s claim that Labor would increase taxes by £2,000 is largely based on an analysis carried out by the Treasury, commissioned by the Conservatives, which examined the costs of Labour’s planned policies.

However, James Bowler, the Treasury’s most senior official, said in a June 3 letter to Labor that he had told ministers to be careful in how they presented his department’s work.

He said in response to a letter from Darren Jones, the shadow chief secretary at the Treasury: “As you would expect, civil servants were not involved in the production or presentation of the Conservative Party’s ‘Labour’s Tax Rises’ document or in the calculation of the total amount used.

“In your letter you highlight that the figure of £38 billion used in the Conservative Party publication includes costs above and beyond those provided by the Civil Service and published online by HM Treasury.

“I agree that any cost calculations derived from other sources or produced by other organizations should not be presented as if they were produced by the civil service. I have reminded ministers and advisers that this must be the case.”

The Tories document “Labour Tax Rises” stated that “almost all the cost calculations included here have been carried out by HM Treasury”.

Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, said on May 17 when he published the document: “Today I am publishing an analysis by independent officials from the Treasury of Labour’s plans for office. That suggests a £38 billion black hole in their plans, which can only be closed by further tax rises – the equivalent of £2,100 per family.”

Claire Coutinho, the Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, had told the BBC before the letter appeared this morning that the costs had been “signed by the Ministry of Finance, by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, because the amount corresponds to the proposals that the Labor Party has submitted’. put forward so far would cost families.”