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Britain’s prime ministerial contenders clash over taxes at the start of the campaign

#Britains #prime #ministerial #contenders #clash #taxes #start #campaign

Liz Truss, the favorite to be Britain’s next prime minister, on Thursday criticized rival Rishi Sunak for his tax policies as finance minister as the couple launched a six-week election campaign.

The Foreign Secretary wrote in the Daily Mail that Britain had “taken a fiscal turn in the wrong direction, with the highest tax burden in 70 years”.

She vowed to reverse recent hikes and suspend green taxes on energy bills.

Sunak oversaw tax hikes as the UK struggled to repair public finances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and amid a spiral of inflation, blaming these promising cuts on the “fantasy economy”.

The couple reached the latest runoff to try to persuade around 200,000 party members after the latest round of voting among Conservative MPs on Wednesday.

The final result will be available on September 5th.

Sunak launched his attempt to recruit grassroots members by saying he was the only candidate capable of winning a general election due within the next 18 months.

“We now have a really positive message for all our members – crucially, who is the best person to beat Keir Starmer and the Labor Party in the next election?” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

“I think I’m the only candidate who can.”

– ‘I was wrong’ –

Sunak cited former leader Margaret Thatcher, who remains a hero to many party members.

“My values ​​are Thatcherite. I believe in hard work, family and integrity,” he wrote.

“I am a Thatcherite, I stand as a Thatcherite and I will govern as a Thatcherite.”

But he faces an uphill battle, with polls suggesting party members back the right-wing Truss.

The fight was already getting personal during televised debates, but Sunak apparently called for a truce on Thursday, writing that “I like and respect Truss.”

The pair will make their first personal commitment to members on Thursday ahead of a dozen hustings across the country over the next few weeks.

Truss’ message to members is that she is a conviction politician who will bulldoze through institutions that stand in the way of reform.

But she has been forced to defend a number of ideological and political U-turns, including her previous support for the Liberal Democrats and her opposition to Brexit, which she now supports.

“I was wrong and I’m willing to admit I was wrong,” she told BBC Radio 4 on Brexit on Thursday.

“I developed my political views and ideas. I think the idea that someone aged 17 should have the same views as they did when they were 46 is completely ridiculous.”

– “Reduce taxes and deregulate” –

Sunak’s resignation earlier this month helped oust Prime Minister Boris Johnson after months of scandal, including “Partygate”.

Downing Street is reportedly running an “Everyone But Rishi” campaign.

At his last Prime Minister’s Questions session in Parliament on Wednesday, Johnson indicated his support for Truss’s Thatcher platform.

He urged his successor to “lower taxes and deregulate where you can to make this the best place to live and invest.”

The BBC and Sky News both plan to host live TV debates between the pair, the first on Monday, with other potential clashes possible before party members’ postal voting ends on September 2.

According to polls, Sunak won the two previous televised debates, and in the second there was an all-out clash with Truss.

But his grassroots popularity has waned since questions were raised about his family’s tax regime and inflation soared to a 40-year high of 9.4 percent in June.

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