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Here’s where UK’s Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak stand on issues from taxes to China

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, engaged in a two-month battle to succeed Boris Johnson as UK Prime Minister,have announced a slew of policies in their bid to win votes among the Tory faithful.

By: Bloomberg |
Updated: August 6, 2022 6:57:22 pm
rishi sunak, liz trussIn this composite image a comparison has been made between the two remaining Conservative Leader candidates Liz Truss (L) and Rishi Sunak. (Getty Images/Getty Images Europe)

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak are engaged in a two-month battle to succeed Boris Johnson as UK Prime Minister, and both have announced a slew of policies in their bid to win votes among the Tory faithful.

The main division is over management of the economy, with Truss, the front-runner, advocating immediate tax cuts to spur growth, and Sunak saying the priority is to get runaway inflation under control.

As the race has progressed, both candidates have made U-turns and they’ve also competed to win the favor in particular of those on the right of the Conservative Party, whose 175,000 members will elect a winner to be announced on Sept. 5. Here’s an outline of their key pledges:

  • Proposes more than £30 billion ($36 billion) of tax cuts to put “money back in people’s pockets”
  • Would reverse National Insurance rise brought in this year by Sunak
  • Temporary moratorium on green levy to cut average energy bills by £153
  • Would scrap next year’s planned rise in corporation tax to 25% from 19%
  • Delay paying down Covid debt
  • Reform tax system to make it fairer, including review on treating households as single tax entities
  • Advocates more interventionist monetary policy; would look again at Bank of England remit
  • Says recession predicted by BOE can be avoided
  • Calls Truss’s plans “immoral” forpiling debt onto future generations
  • Top priority is to control inflation
  • Supports lower taxes in the long term
  • Plans temporary VAT cut on domestic energy bills if price cap on them rises above £3,000. In government he opposed such a cut
  • As chancellor, announced 1 penny cut in income tax by 2024; Now says he’ll cut another 3 pence by 2030
  • Stick to plan to increase corporation tax in 2023
  • Reform taxation to reward companies that invest and avoid penalizing small and medium-sized businesses
  • Has expressed concern about Truss’s BOE proposals
Brexit/ Northern Ireland
  • Voted Remain but has since embraced leave and is supported by prominent Tory Brexiteers
  • Architect of Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which would scrap bulk of provisions on the region in the Brexit deal struck by the UK with the EU
  • Pledges to scrap all EU regulation by end of 2023, including Solvency II and MiFID II rules in a “”bonfire” of red tape
  • Voted Leave in 2016 Brexit referendum
  • Supports Northern Ireland Protocol Bill
  • Wants businesses to see the benefits and freedoms that Brexit creates
  • Plans new Brexit delivery department to review 2,400 EU laws on the British statute book with view to scrapping or reforming them by the next election
  • Supports government plan to deter small boat crossings from France by deporting arrivals to Rwanda
  • Would extend policy to more countries
  • Step up law enforcement efforts to pursue criminal gangs responsible for people-trafficking
  • Increase front-line border force by 20% and double maritime staffing
  • Tackle labour shortages in farming through short-term expansion of seasonal workers program
  • Has 10-point immigration plan that would narrow the definition of individuals who qualify for asylum
  • Supports Rwanda deportation plan, saying he’ll do “whatever it takes” to get it running
  • Plans “small boats task force” to tackle cross-Channel people smuggling from France
  • Wants “more effective” relationship with France
  • Would cap asylum seekers
  • Reform Home Office, border force
  • Spend at least 3% of GDP on defense by 2030
  • Maintain UK leadership in supporting Ukraine including through sanctions on Russia and providing heavy weapons to Ukraine
  • Keep dialog open with Russian President Vladimir Putin but only to “call him out”
  • Takes “threat-based approach” to defense spending, pledging to invest “whatever it takes to keep our country safe,” while steering clear of “arbitrary numbers”
  • Continue to support Ukraine with weapons, funding, sanctions
  • Won’t engage with Putin
  • Tailor policy regionally to make housing more affordable; build vertically in cities and allow villages to expand incrementally
  • Joined-up approach for industry and infrastructure so new housing built where new jobs are based
  • Consent by local communities is essential to planning
  • Incorporate rental payments into mortgage assessments to allow up to 50% of renters to get on property ladder
  • Scrap “top-down” housing targets, rip up red tape to boost housebuilding
  • Low-tax, low-regulation, low-planning “Investment Zones” including creation of new towns
  • Guarantee protection for green belt surrounding towns and cities
  • Doesn’t support “arbitrary” building targets
  • Characterizes his planning policy as “brownfield, brownfield, brownfield”
  • Change planning rules to allow denser housing in inner cities
  • Promote modular flat-pack housing
  • Tackle “land banking” by developers to ensure more land is available for construction
  • Slash number of empty shops on high streets by allowing commercial buildings to be repurposed
  • Reduce UK dependence on China
  • Ban reliance on China for critical national infrastructure projects
  • Strengthen Commonwealth as counterweight to China through trade and investment
  • Says UK should crack down on Chinese-owned TikTok
  • Says China is “No. 1 threat” to UK security
  • Close all 30 Confucius Institutes in UK; review China-UK research partnerships
  • Pursue “NATO-style” alliance to defend against Chinese “technological aggression”
  • Counter Chinese industrial espionage
  • Consider banning Chinese acquisitions of key UK assets
Energy/Climate Change
  • Supports net zero goals, but not at expense of people and businesses
  • Sees strong case for lifting fracking ban
  • Supports net zero targets
  • UK energy sovereignty by 2045; focus on offshore wind
  • Won’t end onshore wind moratorium
  • Create dedicated energy ministry
  • Rules out second Scottish independence referendum
  • Scrap failing schools, allow creation of new grammar schools
  • Cut National Health Service backlogs and delays by eliminating bureaucracy
  • Set police target to cut serious crimes and neighborhood crime 20% by end of this Parliament
  • Recruit 20,000 more police officers
  • Would make it harder for trade unions to agree on strikes
  • Backs single-sex spaces; would cut civil service diversity officers
  • Committed to Johnson’s core policy of leveling up economic opportunity, but had recent gaffe by announcing — and then reversing — policy to set public sector pay regionally according to living costs
  • Rules out second Scottish independence referendum
  • Backs new grammar schools
  • Plans task force to tackle NHS backlogs
  • Build more than 100 specialist surgical hubs to bring down waiting times
  • Impose £10 penalty for missing doctor appointments
  • Expand police powers to tackle anti-social behavior like graffiti, littering
  • Would prevent biological men from competing in women’s sports; vows to legislate so a person’s sex means their biological sex
  • Committed to leveling up policy


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First published on: 06-08-2022 at 02:09:35 pm
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