Truss Camp Accuses Sunak Of 'Flip-Flops And U-Turns' As He Unveils New Tax Cut Pledge

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Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clash in last week's BBC debate. (Photo: Jacob King via PA Wire/PA Images)
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clash in last week's BBC debate. (Photo: Jacob King via PA Wire/PA Images)

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss clash in last week's BBC debate. (Photo: Jacob King via PA Wire/PA Images)

Rishi Sunak has been accused of “flip flops and U-turns” by Liz Truss’s leadership campaign after he unveiled a new pledge to cut taxes.

The former chancellor said he would cut the basic rate of income tax from 20p to 16p in the pound by the end of the next parliament if he becomes prime minister.

He said the move - which would be the biggest cut to income tax in 30 years - would be paid for from extra tax receipts generated by predicted economic growth.

It followed his vow last week to axe VAT from energy bills for the next year to help people cope with the cost of living crisis.

Both announcements have come despite Sunak criticising Truss for promising immediate tax cuts if she becomes PM.

Unveiling his latest pledge, Sunak again insisted that his rival’s plans were unaffordable and would further increase inflation.

He said: “What I’m putting to people today is a vision to deliver the biggest income tax cut since Margaret Thatcher’s government.

“It is a radical vision but it is also a realistic one and there are some core principles that I’m simply not prepared to compromise on, whatever the prize.

“Firstly I will never get taxes down in a way that just puts inflation up. Secondly I will never make promises I can’t pay for. And thirdly I will always be honest about the challenges we face.

“Because winning this leadership contest without levelling with people about what lies ahead would not only be dishonest - it would be an act of self-sabotage that condemns our party to defeat at the next general election and consigns us to a long period in opposition.

“There is no more serious choice than the one now facing Conservative members: to decide the person who leads our country at home and abroad during difficult times.

“As they turn to that decision I would urge them to treat with caution any vision that doesn’t involve any difficult trade offs and remember that if something sounds good to be true - then it probably is.”

In response, a Truss campaign source said: “It’s welcome that Rishi has performed another U-turn on cutting tax, it’s only a shame he didn’t do this as chancellor when he repeatedly raised taxes.

“Unfortunately it’s a case of ‘jam tomorrow’. People need tax cuts in seven weeks not in seven years.

“He has also made it conditional on getting growth first - knowing full well that his corporation tax rises are contractionary. The public and Conservative Party members can see through these flip flops and U-turns.”

Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury and a Truss supporter, also attacked his former boss.

He said: “People are facing the biggest cost of living crisis in decades and the tax burden is at its highest level in 70 years.

“We cannot afford to wait to help families, they need support now. Liz will cut taxes in seven weeks, not seven years.

“She will reverse the National Insurance tax hike and introduce a one year pause on household energy levies to bring down energy bills, helping people keep more of the money they earn to deal with the months ahead.”

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

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