Where Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak stand on the key issues

Rishi Sunak 

Taxes: The former chancellor has promised the biggest tax cut in 30 years if he becomes prime minister, vowing to slash the basic rate from 20 per cent to 16 per cent within seven years. Someone earning the average UK salary of £32,000 would save about £777 under the plans.

He has vowed to scrap VAT on energy bills for a year, delivering, he says, a saving of around £200 on the average household bill as energy prices soar this winter. He is also promising a major new investment tax cut this autumn, replacing the so-called “super deduction”.

Mr Sunak had previously been resisting calls for immediate tax cuts amid the cost-of-living crisis, instead saying the nation needs “honesty and responsibility, not fairytales”. He had pledged to focus on getting inflation under control and only cut taxes once that happens, presenting his position as “common-sense Thatcherism”. 

Borrowing: Mr Sunak has repeatedly said that the nation must balance its books. He has warned that “borrowing your way out of inflation isn’t a plan” and challenged Ms Truss on her promise to borrow more to fund her tax cuts.

He said: “That is the country’s credit card and it’s our children and grandchildren, everyone here’s kids will pick up the tab for that. There’s nothing conservative about it.”

He has insisted he would not promise tens of billions of pounds of “goodies” – a reference to his rival’s promises – because it would fuel inflation.

He added: “We in the Conservative Party need to get real and fast because the lights on the economy are flashing red and the root cause is inflation.”

Net Zero: He has committed to keeping the target of making Britain carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve that he would oversee a massive expansion in offshore wind farms.

At a hustings on August 3, he was accused of a major U-turn on onshore wind after announcing he would scrap a ban on new turbines. He wants to make the UK energy self-sufficient by 2045. 

Trans: The former chancellor has made it clear where he stands on trans rights. At a hustings on August 25 when Mr Sunak was asked if a ‘trans woman was a woman’ he answered “no”.

At another hustings event, he said: “The fact that we have to have a conversation about what a woman is is quite frankly extraordinary. As a parent of two young girls and married to one, I know exactly what a woman is. We don’t need to have a debate about it.

“I am going to stand up for women’s rights, whether it is the language that people are now trying to erase from public life, access to changing rooms, sports – we need to stand up for women’s rights. It is not bigoted or somehow narrow-minded to say that.” Mr Sunak launched his campaign by pledging a new “manifesto of women’s rights”.

He has pledged to protect the terms “women” and “mother” as he blamed the Equality Act for promoting “woke nonsense”.

Brexit: Mr Sunak voted Leave and has said taking back control of lawmaking will give Britain a competitive economic edge. He has pledged to scrap or reform all remaining EU rules on the UK’s statute books by the next election and wants to overhaul Brussels red tape clogging up the City. He has attacked Ms Truss for voting Remain.

Scotland: The cost-of-living is the priority – “not another divisive, unnecessary, unconstitutional referendum”, Mr Sunak said in a message to Nicola Sturgeon at a hustings in Perth on August 16. Mr Sunak pledged not to “ignore” Ms Sturgeon, but to “take her on” and beat the SNP at the ballot box.

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