Sunak's £2k tax rise jibe 'absolute garbage' says Starmer

  • Pay & Benefits
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Taxes were on the agenda for the Prime Minister as he repeated ‘I don’t want to raise your taxes to pay for that’ at the first TV debate as he accused Starmer of targeting wealthy to fund Labour policies

In the first live debate aired on ITV on 4 June, hosted by Julie Etchingham, Sunak repeatedly claimed Starmer, and the Labour party, would hike every household’s tax bill by £2,000 by ‘raising your taxes and raiding your pensions’ to fund its economic plan.

The £2,000 figure has been estimated by officials at the Treasury, predicting the costs of the Labour party's policies over a four-year period. However, in a letter to the Labour party, Treasury permanent secretary James Bowler said costs had been added by the Conservatives which the civil service had not provided.

Starmer came back fighting after Sunak had made the claim about four times, stating that the calculation was ‘absolute garbage’.

During the debate, Sunak’s repeatedly pledged to reduce taxes and put more money back into peoples’ pockets, as well as stating that his ‘plan is working’ to fix the economy and bring down inflation, after the latest 2.3% inflation figure.

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However, Starmer accused Sunak of calling the election earlier than anyone estimated because ‘he knows inflation is going to go back up and he knows energy prices are going to go back up in the autumn’.

The Autumn Statement and the March Budget saw the Conservative Party cut national insurance by 4% overall, Sunak said: ‘I know everyone is only just starting to feel the benefits of it, but inflation is back to normal, wages are growing, taxes are now being cut.’

Continuing to say the Labour Party would ‘put all the progress at risk’ Sunak finished by saying ‘I don’t know why you want to put people’s taxes up?’

Starmer then stated Sunak had been part of the government that had ‘put up taxes 26 times, the last manifesto that they had in 2019 said “we won’t put up National Insurance”, this man then put up National Insurance.

‘He’s the British expert on tax rises.’

However, Starmer listed the taxes his party would raise, such as the tax break on private schools, ending the non-dom status completely as ‘the super rich should be paying their fair share’, and making private equity investors pay income tax instead of capital gains tax. In addition, he said oil and gas companies would also begin ‘paying their fair share’. ‘We will raise those but will not raise the others’, said Starmer.

Swiftly responding, Sunak said: ‘Mark my words, Labour will raise your taxes, it’s in their DNA, your work, your car, your pensions, you name it, Labour will tax it.’

Starmer hit back, saying: ‘I don’t offer you the gimmicks or unfunded promises that Rishi Sunak does, I don’t pretend there’s a magic wand that will fix everything overnight, instead I offer a practical common-sense plan to change Britain.’

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