Tory leadership: Members of the public offer their thoughts
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As MPs make up their minds on whom to grant the keys to No10, people in the capital shared their views on the two contenders with Express.co.uk. Liz Truss has no chance against the former chancellor, Lynn told us, but Mr Sunak won’t solve what she views as the key issue: “The rich will carry on getting richer and the poor will get poorer.”
Mr Sunak has vowed to lead by “traditional Conservative economic values” – and that, he said, means no “fairy tales”.
It is understood he would delay tax cuts until at least autumn next year when inflation is expected to be under control.
While he is under pressure to accelerate his planned 1p reduction off the basic income tax 20p rate from early 2024 to late 2023, the former investment banker is staying loyal to his pitch of “fiscal responsibility”.
Does Lynn trust in the 42-year-old’s ability to help the country out of cost of living crisis?
She said: “Rishi has the backing, he’s a good speaker… and in the end, people fall for the way they speak, not necessarily what they say.”
But it will be “more of the same” with him, the retiree added – “more austerity”.
Demetria, 68, had a clear message for whoever succeeds Boris Johnson: “We need more money, benefits – we are suffering.”
The mother-of-two, from Tanzania, replied with a straightforward “yes” to whether she wanted to see a cut in taxes.
“People are not living happily,” the pensioner said, adding that “you come home and are not eating, there’s no food”.
Ms Truss’s stance on tax differs hugely from Mr Sunak’s.
Claiming her agenda will revitalise the UK economy, the Foreign Minister has promised to introduce tax cuts immediately if made Prime Minister.
On Thursday, she insisted her plans would “decrease inflation” and promised she would “keep taxes low” during her premiership.
When asked whether borrowing more than £30bn to fund the tax cuts would increase or decrease inflation, Ms Truss, 46, said: “My tax cuts will decrease inflation.”
Do Londoners believe her?
Lynn said: “I believe that she believes it but… what can you cut?”
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Citing other European countries that have spent more money aiding people hit by the cost of living crisis, Ms Truss said she would allow households to keep more of their own money by taxing less.
Ms Truss promised a carer’s allowance and pledged to push defence spending up to three percent of GDP — amounting to an extra £86bn over the next five years.
Polling of Tory members by YouGov published on Thursday put Ms Truss significantly ahead, by 62 percent to 38 percent, of Mr Sunak.
The Foreign Secretary is the frontrunner among grassroots in the race to become Prime Minister.
Mr Sunak has attacked his opponent’s vision on tax and spending.
Her approach, he argued, would lead to further “inflation”.
He told LBC: “My strong point of view is if the Government goes on a huge borrowing spree, that is only going to make that situation worse.
“And that will mean that the problem will last longer.”
Ms Truss, meanwhile, told reporters her economic plan is the only way to ensure a victory against Labour.
Speaking on a campaign visit to Peterborough, she said: “I think the problem is that if we continue with our current economic policy, which is forecast to lead to a recession, it will be very hard for Conservatives to win an election.”
With ballot papers expected to drop in the next few days, Ms Truss and Mr Sunak will take part in 12 hustings across the country before a result is announced on September 5.
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