Vote for my party and, if elected, we will put 10,000 more police on the streets. What’s not to like?
Vote for my party and, if elected, we will build 50,000 social homes. Sounds good to me.
Wait a minute. How much will these initiatives cost?
In 2017, after Britain’s Labour Party announced that it would hire an additional 10,000 police, radio interviewer Nick Ferrari asked Labour minister Diane Abbott how many coppers these new coppers would cost.
£300,000, she replied.
Wrong answer. £300k would suffice to pay each policeman a few pennies per hour. She tried again, upping the total to £80 million. Wrong again. The real cost would be about four times that amount.
A similar gaffe-by-number felled Green Party leader Natalie Bennett a few years earlier when the same interviewer asked her about the price tag for those 50,000 homes.
£2.7 billion was her prompt – and incorrect – answer.