Sunak and Truss clash during BBC leadership debate
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The BBC’s live Conservative hustings debate between Ms Truss and Mr Sunak on Monday evening descended into a fiery back and forth as the two Tory big-hitters traded blows over their plans to fix Britain’s finances. Ms Truss pitched a plan to delay paying down the UK’s debt for three years while cutting taxes in the short term, Mr Sunak jumped in and attacked his former Cabinet colleague for looking to stick government borrowing on the “country’s credit card.”
Ms Truss told the BBC studio audience: “Under my plans, we would start paying down the debt in three years’ time.
“So I’m not putting on the never-never. I would start paying it down in three years…”
“You promised almost a billion pounds of unfunded tax cuts, 40 billion pounds more borrowing, that is the country’s credit card,” interrupted Mr Sunak. “It’s our children and grandchildren, everyone here….we’re going to pick up the tab for that.”
“Rishi that is not true,” Ms Truss hit back.
Ms Truss later said: “No other country is putting up taxes at this moment, the OECD has described Rishi’s policies as contractionary. What does contractionary mean?
“It means it will lead to a recession. We know what happens when there’s a recession.
“I grew up in Paisley and Leeds in the 1980s and 1990s. I know what it’s like when people have to struggle when you have high unemployment and people don’t have work to go to.
“We cannot allow that to happen.”
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Mr Sunak spoke over Ms Truss and warned inflation was a problem in the 1980s and it is a “problem we have now”, adding: “We need to get a grip on inflation.
“If we don’t do that now, it’s going to cost all of you and everybody watching at home far more in the long run.
“Liz, your plans, your own economic adviser has said that will lead to mortgage interest rates going up to 7%, can you imagine what that’s going to do for everyone here and everyone watching, that’s thousands of pounds on their mortgage bill?
“It’s going to tip millions of people into misery and it’s going to mean we have absolutely no chance of winning the next election either.”
Ms Truss highlighted Mr Sunak wants to raise corporation tax this autumn at a time of a “global economic crisis”.
She later said: “This Chancellor has raised taxes to the highest rate in 70 years and we’re now predicted a recession.
“The truth is in the figures.”
The studio audience was made up entirely of people who voted Conservative at the last general election.
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