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Liz Truss talks tax cut for wealthy, Rishi Sunak signals defeat

Truss says Bank of England should control inflation, vows energy plan within a week of election

Rishi Sunak | England


(From left) Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss (Photo: Bloomberg)

Liz Truss has said it is fair to give higher earners more money back through tax cuts, saying recent Tory policy has failed to grow the economy.

The Tory leadership hopeful has pledged to reverse a National Insurance rise.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the cut would be a gain of £7.66 for lower income households but those on the highest income could gain more than £1,800.

Ms Truss said higher earners paid more tax, so would gain more from cuts. “Of course, there are some people who don’t pay tax at all,” the BBC reported. “But to look at everything through the lens of redistribution I believe is wrong because what I'm about is about growing the economy and growing the economy benefits everybody.”

“It is the job of the Bank of to bring inflation down. We need to do all we can to help people in the meantime,” Truss said in the interview.

She refused to comment on whether she would support sharp interest rates hikes, saying that she is “a great believer” in the independence of the central bank.

Meanwhile, said on Sunday that if he loses the Conservative Party leadership race, his job would be to support the next government, giving the first hint at what's in store beyond Monday's election result to replace Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister.

In his final interview with the BBC before the results are declared, the British Indian former Chancellor said he plans to stay on as a member of Parliament and continue to work for his constituents in Richmond, Yorkshire, if he is defeated by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the race.

“I look forward to supporting the Conservative government in whatever capacity,” said Sunak, when asked about his future plans if the result does not go his way.

“I’m going to stay as a member of Parliament…It's been a great privilege to represent my constituents in Richmond in North Yorkshire as their member of Parliament and I'll love to keep doing that as long as they'll have me,” he said. Both candidates renewed their pledge to tackle UK's worsening energy crisis that has resulted in soaring energy bills for households as a priority as the countdown to the new British Prime Minister taking charge at 10 Downing Street edges towards its conclusion.

While the Indian-origin former Chancellor reiterated his approach of offering targeted support to people on lower incomes, the foreign secretary refrained from spelling her plans out to only say that she will “act immediately” if elected Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister.

The issue of a cost-of-living crisis caused by spiralling energy costs in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has dominated the race to replace Boris Johnson.

“I think this is the most pressing issue facing the country and that's why I set out a clear plan and framework of how we would go about addressing it,” Sunak, 42, said during his final pre-election BBC interview.

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First Published: Sun, September 04 2022. 22:53 IST