The two remaining contenders for Britain’s next premier, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, attacked each other’s economic plans as they continued to attack the other during the first face-to-face television debate on Monday night.
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sunak, said in the BBC debate that there was “nothing conservative” about Trace’s approach and that this would give the party “absolutely no chance” of winning the next election.
Secretary of State Truss indicated that her rival would lead the country into a recession, adding that she would plan for economic growth “immediately” if she became prime minister.
Sunak said he would like to make sure his government “always” has policies in place to support people during the inflation crisis.
Terrace said his plans would see the government start paying off debts within three years. Sunak replied: “You have promised more than £40 billion in unfunded tax cuts… an additional £40 billion to borrow.”
“No other country is taxing at the moment, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has described Rishi’s policies as deflationary. This means that it will lead to a recession … we cannot allow that to happen,” she added.
Terrace wants to scrap the increase in National Insurance, the planned increase in corporate tax, and will temporarily eliminate green fees on energy bills that have to be paid through borrowing.
Sunak said he will not cut taxes until inflation is under control.
On how to deal with Chinese tech companies, Trace said it would crack down on Chinese-owned tech companies like TikTok if they win.
“We definitely have to crack down on those kinds of companies.”
Sunak praised resigning Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s handling of Brexit and the pandemic, but said he resigned as a matter of principle due to the prime minister’s “behavior” and the fact that they had “very different views on the direction of travel on the economy”.
Sunak’s resignation as chancellor aided Johnson’s downfall.
Truss acknowledged that the prime minister had made mistakes, but said they were not “enough” for the Conservative Party to “reject him”.
The two candidates were on better terms at the end of the debate, with Truss saying she would “love” Sunak to be on her team if she became prime minister. The former finance minister praised her stance on Russia.