Neither the Conservatives nor Labour are offering “credible” spending plans ahead of the election, an influential research group has said.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said it was “highly likely” the Tories would end up spending more than their manifesto pledges.
Labour, it warned, would be unable to deliver its spending increases as it has promised.
Neither was being “honest” with voters, director Paul Johnson said.
He said that the Conservatives were continuing to “pretend that tax rises will never be needed to secure decent public services”.
Labour, he added, “pretends that huge increases in spending can be financed by just big companies and the rich”.
It is “highly likely” that Labour would need to raise taxes beyond what it is promising to pay for its proposed £80bn a year in extra spending, he said.
“In reality, a change in the scale and the scope of the state that they propose would require more broad-based tax increases at some point.”
He criticised a Tory pledge not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT over the next five years as “ill advised”, adding the government would “regret” it.
He also added that the party had “failed to come up with any kind of plan or any kind of money” for social care services.