UK News: Truss promises tax cuts not ‘handouts’ to tackle cost-of-living crisis

Sunak or Truss: What policies should we expect from our next prime minister?

  Sunak or Truss: What policies should we expect from our next prime minister? Here are some of the policy pledges made by Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss during the Tory leadership contest.Over the coming weeks, it will be up to Tory party members to decide which of the two candidates will be the next prime minister.

Liz Truss has said she would help people with the cost-of-living crisis by lowering taxes, not giving “handouts”.

The Tory leadership hopeful was asked whether she would offer more help with spiralling fuel bills this winter if she becomes the next prime minister.

The Foreign Secretary told the Financial Times she would of course “look at what more can be done” but said she would do things in a “Conservative way”.

Ms Truss rejected the idea of giving “handouts”, promising to implement tax cuts instead.

She told the publication: “Of course, I will look at what more can be done. But the way I would do things is in a Conservative way of lowering the tax burden, not giving out handouts.”

Rishi Sunak hits campaign trail but is given Margaret Thatcher memoir to sign in bizarre encounter

  Rishi Sunak hits campaign trail but is given Margaret Thatcher memoir to sign in bizarre encounter The former Chancellor, 42, spoke to a crowd at a farm near Winchester, Hampshire, today before greeting supporters as his leadership campaign continued. Mr Sunak gave a speech and spoke to a local farmer alongside Tory MP for East Hampshire Damian Hinds before meeting Conservative members at Fontwell Park racecourse in West Sussex.But as he greeted crowds in Winchester, Mr Sunak was handed a copy of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's book to sign.It comes two days after he said she was the best ever leader of the Conservative Party during a Tory hustings in Yorkshire.

Her comments come against a backdrop that is growing starker by the day.

This week, energy consultancy Auxilione said the Government’s price cap, which sets bills for more than 20 million households in Britain, could reach nearly £4,000 a year from January.

New analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also shows that close to half (44%) of UK adults who pay energy bills found it very or somewhat difficult to afford them in the last two weeks of July.

The Bank of England warned on Thursday the UK faces two years of falling household incomes, with inflation set to soar to more than 13% and the economy to relapse into the longest recession since the financial crisis.

At a Tory leadership hustings in Eastbourne, Sussex, on Friday evening, Ms Truss suggested her plans for immediate tax cuts could avert a recession.

Truss and Sunak to face off in hustings in crunch week of leadership race

  Truss and Sunak to face off in hustings in crunch week of leadership race The two candidates vying to replace Boris Johnson must win over the party faithful.With postal ballots beginning to drop on members’ doorsteps on Monday, Mr Sunak is under pressure to overhaul his campaign as polling among the group suggests he is lagging behind his rival.

So far, the Foreign Secretary has pledged to halt “green levies” on energy bills, reverse the national insurance hike and cancel the planned corporation tax rise.

She told Tory members: “I know there are difficult forecasts out there but forecasts are not destiny. And what we shouldn’t be doing is talking ourselves into a recession. We should be keeping taxes low.

“We can create the British version of Silicon Valley. We can create real opportunities.”

However, her rival Rishi Sunak argued that unless inflation is brought under control there is “no hope” the Tories will win the next election.

Liz Truss during the hustings in Eastbourne (Gareth Fuller/PA) © Provided by PA Media Liz Truss during the hustings in Eastbourne (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Taking a thinly veiled swipe at his opponent, Mr Sunak told the hustings he is “particularly worried about policies that risk making it (inflation) worse and last longer”.


Video: Liz Truss promises to reduce taxes (Sky News)

'I'm for Rishi' and a 'regrettable' vote for Liz Truss - what audience members thought

  'I'm for Rishi' and a 'regrettable' vote for Liz Truss - what audience members thought Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak may have been grilled by Kay Burley but it was the audience members who got first crack at each of the candidates during Sky News' The Battle for Number 10.Not only that, it will be those audience members - and their fellow Conservative Party members around the UK - who will get to choose the next prime minister.

The former chancellor said: “Well, the first thing we need to do in order to make sure we can win that election is have got through this inflation problem by then.

“And that’s why I’m particularly worried about policies that risk making it worse and last longer.

“Because this is a problem that isn’t just for this winter. It’s a problem for next winter as well, and beyond.

“Because as the Bank of England said, they are worried about inflation becoming embedded – then there’s no hope that we’re going to win that next election. Absolutely none. It’s as simple as that.”

He also insisted corporation tax is not the “right tax” to focus on, instead speaking about the need to reform business taxes to “cut them on the things that make a difference”.

Mr Sunak said: “I don’t want to stick with the failed policies of the past. That’s what some people are suggesting. It hasn’t worked.”

He added: “Investment in this economy today, no better than it was a decade ago, in spite of us doing all those things on corporation tax.

“Because it’s not the right tax to focus on. And that’s where my experience in business, my time as chancellor, my conversations with business, have led me to the conclusion we need to be much more radical.

Truss learns to borrow from the PM's playbook while Sunak seeks to wean the Tories off its Boris Johnson addiction

  Truss learns to borrow from the PM's playbook while Sunak seeks to wean the Tories off its Boris Johnson addiction Rishi Sunak won the audience, but Liz Truss appears to have a grip on the Tory membership in the country. © Sky All the clues as to why both are true could be found in Thursday night's 90-minute Battle for Number 10 on Sky News with Kay Burley, which tested the breadth, depth and agility of the two who would be prime minister on 6 September.In a unique TV grilling, the flaws and skills of both candidates were on parade in front of a live studio audience.

“We need to reform business taxes to cut them on the things that make a difference.”

On Friday night, the Foreign Secretary received the backing of two Conservative former ministers, Nus Ghani and Dame Andrea Leadsom.

Ms Ghani told Tory members in Eastbourne that because of her role as the vice-chairwoman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, she had not been able to back a candidate until this stage of the race.

Dame Andrea, who served as Penny Mordaunt’s campaign manager and as business secretary, wrote in the Telegraph that Ms Truss would make sure “every baby is given the best start for life”.

Rishi Sunak during the hustings event (Gareth Fuller/PA) © Provided by PA Media Rishi Sunak during the hustings event (Gareth Fuller/PA)

As she attends the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later, the Foreign Secretary is expected to set out a series of economic reforms which her campaign team claims will “promote regional growth by reviewing funding to supercharge the right kind of investment”.

Some of the reforms include reviewing the levelling-up formula to fix underinvestment in regional infrastructure and create low tax, low regulation “investment zones” or “full-fat freeports” on brownfield sites.

However, a campaign spokesman for Mr Sunak accused Ms Truss’s team of “copy and pasting” policies the former chancellor had already put in place.

The spokesman said: “Not only are Team Truss copy and pasting policies put in place by Rishi himself, but they are also re-announcing two-year-old government policies.

“Imitation is the best form of flattery, as the saying goes.”

Mr Sunak’s camp argued “investment zones” are simply a copy and paste of the freeports he pioneered as chancellor and that Ms Truss’s plan to review the levelling-up formula comes nearly two years after he reformed it.

Truss: 'I'll be your minister for the Union'. Sunak: 'I'll make Britain energy secure' .
The two prime ministerial hopefuls have each pledged new commitments if elected - with Liz Truss saying she would take on the role of 'minister for the Union' and Rishi Sunak promising to make Britain more "energy secure".Ms Truss pledged her commitment to uphold the United Kingdom as she hit out at politicians in the devolved administrations for playing "political games" rather than delivering for voters.

See also