I am indebted to Letters from a Tory (who in turn hat-tipped Guido Fawkes) for pointing out the following statement made by Tony McNulty M.P. in November 2008:
“This is desperate stuff from the Tories, who continue to scrabble around trying to find a coherent economic policy. There is no way they can get 350,000 new jobs out of these proposals. There are too many restrictions being applied, the incentive is too small and many of these ‘new’ jobs will simply displace other people seeking work. In addition, the Conservatives just cannot pay for this tax cut - it is misleading of Cameron to say he can pay for getting the short-term unemployed back into work by using figures of savings you would make from the long-term unemployed. Osborne’s judgment is wrong yet again. They are making headlines on the hoof and they will be found out. They need to make their sums add up - particularly at such a difficult time for the global economy. … Their figures on how many jobs would be created are complete fantasy.”
This quote comes from a press release two momths ago from Mr McNulty, a Home Office minister, on the Conservative plans to pay employers several thousand pounds for each unemployed worker they take on.
I have yet to hear whether he still thinks this now that Labour have copied that policy earlier this week - except that they are now claiming that almost identical measures will create 500,000 jobs rather than the 350,000 which Mr McNulty thought was "complete fantasy" ...