Thu, 11 Aug 2022 09:39 AM IST
Former British Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the frontrunner to replace Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), has said that he rather would lose the Tory leadership race than "win on a false promise" on how to tackle the current economic crisis in the country.
In an interview with the BBC, Sunak said that the next PM of the UK will have a "moral responsibility" to support the poor households of the country. Attacking his rival Liz Truss, Sunak said her plan to cut taxes won't help anyone.
"I would rather lose than win on a false promise," Sunak, 42, said. "What I'm determined to do is help people across this country through what will be a very difficult winter. My first preference is always not to take money off people in the first place."
The issue of soaring inflation and prices has dominated the elections in the UK. Both Sunak and Truss have promised stern actions to tackle the crisis. In his interview with the BBC, Sunak also promised to "go further" than what he has already announced if elected Prime Minister.
"I know millions of people are worried about inflation, particularly the cost of their energy bills. What I've said if I'm Prime Minister I will go further in supporting those families who most need support because the situation is worse than when I announced those measures earlier this year," he said.
Truss, however, has stuck to her plan to cut taxes to help households cope with a looming 230 per cent leap in energy prices, despite warnings that lower taxes won't help those facing increased poverty and destitution.
Truss was asked five times by a reporter in a TV interview if she would provide financial support to households who cannot afford to pay the 4,266 pounds annual bill that is forecast to hit in January, up from 1,277 pounds earlier this year.
She said her priority was to cut taxes, rather than funnelling cash back to households via energy support.
"What I'm promising is from day one, people will have lower taxes," she said, adding she would also halt green levies, which would reduce energy bills by less than 8 per cent. Her critics say tax cuts would benefit the wealthy over the hardest hit.
Truss's response sparked criticism on the day that forecasting group Cornwall Insight raised its energy price estimates.
Cornwall now expects the cap on a typical household energy contract to rise by 82 per cent in October, adding to the 54% rise that came into force in April. It will take average annual bills for gas and electricity to 3,582 pounds, driven by soaring wholesale costs and changes in the way the cap is set.
The cap is then expected to rise to 4,266 pounds in January, compared with Cornwall's previous forecast of 3,616 pounds.
(With inputs from Reuters)