GB News Hustings: Truss vs Sunak

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Conservative leadership contender Liz Truss claimed at a hustings event last night in Manchester that her economic plan will deliver 2.5% annual GDP growth.

But her claims were slammed by former chancellor Rishi Sunak  who said they threatened to create chaos not seen since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

In comments in response to audience questions during a hustings event broadcast exclusively by GB News, Liz Truss said she would:

  • Deliver 2.5% economic growth
  • Introduce low tax investment zones
  • Create an “aspiration nation”
  • Increase defence spending to 3% of GDP
  • Support onshore  fracking for gas
  • Introduce police league tables to help to tackle crime

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak said he: 

  • Backed a windfall tax on energy companies
  • Claimed tax plans proposed by Ms Truss would cost £50 billion
  • Would ensure all children have a world class education
  • Reaffirmed his pledge to rebuild the economy and reform the NHS
  • Take action against woke cancel culture

Rishi Sunak said in his opening statement: “… I passionately believe that the best way that we reduce inequality in society, the best way that we spread opportunity, indeed, the best way that we transform people’s lives is by ensuring that the birth right of every child is a world class education.”

“First, we need to restore trust, then we need to rebuild the economy and we must reunite our country. Now when it comes to restoring trust for me that starts with honesty. And as you can see in this leadership race, I have not chosen to say the things that people may want to hear.

“That’s why I set out a plan to finally start reforming the NHS so that we can talk less about how much money we’re always putting into it and more on the healthcare that we want to get out of it. It’s why I want to take on this lefty woke culture that seems to want to cancel our history, our values and our women.”

Mr Sunak added: “I will make sure that the police have the powers to do their job and whether it’s stop and search or other I will never let political correctness stand in the way of keeping us safe.”

He committed to tax cuts: “I will cut your taxes and I will cut income tax because I want to make sure that under a Conservative government that I am privileged to lead, hard work always pays but I’m going to deliver those tax cuts responsibly by being tough on public spending and by growing our economy.

“And that’s why this autumn I will radically change how we tax businesses, cutting taxes for those businesses that are doing the right thing investing in expanding their manufacturing plants and innovating to create the products and services of the future, because those are the tax cuts that will drive growth in a modern economy.”

On tax cuts, Mr Sunak said: “What I will not do is pursue policies that risk making inflation far worse and lasting far longer, especially if those policies amount to borrowing £50 billion pounds and putting that on the country’s credit card and then asking our kids and our grandkids to pick up the tab because that is not right.”

In her opening statement, Liz Truss said: “… I want us to be a country where everybody can succeed regardless of their background. I want us to be a country where there are opportunities for all, I want us to be an aspiration nation.

She added: “I want us to make the M62 the superhighway to success.”

Ms Truss said: “I’m somebody who believes in being on the side of people who do the right thing. The self-employed people who set up their own businesses, people who work hard, people who go into work every day. That’s whose side I am on.”

She added: “What I would do is I’d abolish the top down housing targets, and instead, I would level up in a conservative way through low tax investment zones. Driven by local people are attracting enterprise into our area. 

“And what I would also do is make sure that Treasury funding is there. Too often, there is more money and more investment going into places that have got it already. They don’t need it.”

She said: “We have a proud history and there are too many people who talk Britain down and claim we should be ashamed of our past. We’re here in the great city of Manchester, you know there are other fantastic cities right across the country.

“We should be proud of our heritage and we should say no to those people who say our best days are behind us, they’re completely wrong. Our best days are ahead of us.”

Ms Truss added: “We need to deliver conservative policies we need to be proud to be conservatives and proud of our values, standing up for personal responsibility, standing up for enterprise, standing up for the freedom to control your own life and that’s what we need to deliver, and I’m somebody who does deliver.”

She added: “We will unleash opportunity across Britain, and we will unleash opportunity here in the northwest, and we will win the next election.”

Asked about his idea for fines for missing NHS appointments during questions, Mr Sunak said: “We suddenly free up all this extra health care, all these extra appointments to get the backlogs down quicker, get people seen…

“That is an example of something bold and radical that lots of people will say, ‘oh gosh, it can’t be done, or it’s too tough’ but if we’re not prepared to get radical on the NHS get efficiency out of it we will never reform it and I will never cut your taxes and that’s what I want to do as Prime Minister.”

He added: “I am winning the argument about tackling inflation, being responsible with our borrowing, about actually supporting vulnerable people this autumn and winter which my plan will do.

“Liz’s plan does not do [anything] about actually reforming our tax system so it delivers growth.”

He added: “To borrow £50 billion, which is Liz’s plan and pump that into an economy where inflation is already spiralling to 13% interest rates are already rising, that might feel good for five minutes, but it is an enormous gamble – with your pensions, your savings, with mortgage rates – that inflation gets out of control.

“That’s what happened in the 70s. I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past. It’s not a gamble that I’m prepared to take. And I don’t think a sound Conservative government should pursue that approach because it puts fuel on the fire.”

Asked about a windfall tax on energy firms, he said: “What you’ve got to ask Liz is…that she doesn’t believe in windfall taxes. She’s happy to defend the profits that these energy companies, so you should ask her – I think it’s wrong.

“I think we should tax them. I think we should use that money to directly help people and they need direct support because the tax cut isn’t going to work.

“If we carry on with that policy of just pretending that tax cuts are going to help all those people and not tax the energy companies. That’s how we’re going to lose the next election.”

During questions, Ms Truss said a change in culture is needed in police forces: “What I would do is have league tables that compare police forces and how they are performing so they can really be held to account by the public and I think police and crime commissioners are an important part of that.

“At the moment we don’t have enough transparency on exactly what the police are doing. And we also need the right leadership in the police but also the right leadership in our big cities.

“And frankly, Sadiq Khan has let down London. He hasn’t focused on delivering the tough messages to the police.”

On the NHS, she said: “I don’t believe the way to fix that is yet another reorganisation of the NHS. We’ve been through that before and all that seems to happen every time there’s a reorganisation as we get more levels of management so what we need to do is actually empower the doctors and nurses on the front line, make sure they are able to deal with the issues that patients are raising, and also that will increase morale and motivation because what I hear from doctors and nurses is morale is low.

“And part of that is because people feel like they’re being told what to do from Whitehall rather than understanding the situation in their local area and being able to respond to the patient’s needs.”

She added: “One thing I would do if I was selected as Prime Minister is I would empower my health secretary to deliver. I don’t think the Prime Minister can run everything from Downing Street.

“I don’t think the presidential model works in Britain, so it is about appointing good people who can really grip those issues and listen to people on the frontline and make sure we’re delivering.”

MsTruss added: “I believe we can get to much higher growth. I believe we can get to 2.5% growth, on average in Britain, by unlocking opportunity, unlocking capital in our economy, in doing all the things like northern powerhouse rail that will help drive economic growth.

“I want the private sector to be bigger compared to the public sector.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am afraid the mistake in the stabbing of Boris Johnson is becoming even more detrimental as time goes on. Neither of the candidates are anywhere near the calibre of our PM. The Conservative Party has not only ruined their chances of winning an election, they have decimated the UK. This present climate has serious issues in so many worrying ways for the people of the UK. Boris Johnson has been the best PM in my lifetime, I never voted Conservative before and will not again if the PM is not Boris Johnson, who we the people voted in, and who pay their wages, and expect them to carry out our actions. If I had to choose between the candidates it would be Liz Truss. I will never voted Conservative again now I have seen how vile, disgusting, bullying, nasty, back stabbing, lower than low they have behaved abominable they are not fit to govern, even the Tower is too good for them!!!

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