'It's Morally Wrong': Liz Truss Attacks Rishi Sunak Over National Insurance Rise

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Liz Truss during The Sun's Showdown: The Fight for No10 (Photo: Dominic Lipinski via PA Wire/PA Images)
Liz Truss during The Sun's Showdown: The Fight for No10 (Photo: Dominic Lipinski via PA Wire/PA Images)

Liz Truss during The Sun's Showdown: The Fight for No10 (Photo: Dominic Lipinski via PA Wire/PA Images)

Raising national insurance in the middle of a cost of living crisis is “morally wrong” Liz Truss has declared as she launched a furious attack on Tory leadership rival Rishi Sunak.

The foreign secretary hit out as she defended her pledge to reverse the increase if she becomes prime minister.

The NI rise hit pay packets in April and is aimed at raising £12bn for the NHS to help clear Covid backlogs and pay for social care.

On Saturday, Sunak said Truss’s plans to cancel the rise he brought in as chancellor, as well as scrap an increase in corporation tax, was “immoral” because it would be paid for by borrowing.

But speaking in the second head-to-head debate between the pair, hosted by Talk TV and The Sun, Truss hit back: “What has happened is that the tax has been raised on families through national insurance so that they are having to pay more money to the Treasury.

“I do think it is morally wrong at this moment when families are struggling to pay for food that we have put up taxes on ordinary people when we said we wouldn’t in our manifesto and when we didn’t need to do so.”

But Sunak responded: ”What’s morally wrong is asking our children and grandchildren to pick up the tab for the bills that we are not prepared to meet.”

The clash came shortly before the live broadcast was taken off air when presenter Kate McCann fainted.

A loud crash was heard and a shocked Truss walked off the stage before the cameras cut away from the studio.

It was initially described as a “medical issue”, and TalkTV later added: “Kate McCann fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate. We apologise to our viewers and listeners.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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