Truss says recession not inevitable, but Sunak says she’ll make things worse

Handout photo of Liz Truss, Kay Burley and Rishi Sunak ahead of the Sky News special programme 'The Battle for Number 10' at the Sky News studio in west London, as part of the campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Tories. Photo credit should read: Chris Lobina/Sky News/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak with Sky News presenter Kay Burley ahead of tonight’s debate (Picture: PA)

Rishi Sunak warned Liz Truss’s economic strategy will damage the nation, and that pouring ‘fuel on the fire’ will cause ‘misery for millions’.

His Tory leadership rival insisted her tax cuts could avert the recession forecast by the Bank of England.

Ms Truss, the Foreign Secretary, used tonight’s Sky News debate to warn of ‘very, very difficult times’ without ‘bold’ action, rather than her opponent’s cautious approach.

But Mr Sunak, a former chancellor, struck back with fears her vision ‘will make the situation worse’, on the day the Bank warned inflation could peak at 13.3% in October.

Interest rates were raised to the highest level in nearly three decades, from 1.25% to 1.75%, worsening the pain for mortgage holders.

This was before the Bank predicted the economy will plunge into the longest recession since the financial crisis in 2008.

Mr Sunak told the televised debate: ‘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.

‘I’m worried that Liz Truss’s plans will make the situation worse.’

Mr Sunak said it’s wrong to say that the current tax burden is causing the recession (Picture: Sky News)

He stressed a need to get a grip on runaway inflation before cutting taxes, adding: ‘But it all starts with not making the situation worse.

‘Because if we just put fuel on the fire of this inflation spiral, all of us, all of you, are just going to end up with higher mortgage rates, savings and pensions that are eaten away, and misery for millions.’

Mr Sunak said there is ‘of course’ measures that can be taken to counteract a recession.

‘It’s not the tax burden that is causing the recession. That’s simply wrong. What’s causing the recession is inflation,’ he added.

‘So what I’m not going to do is embark on a borrowing spree worth tens of billions of pounds, put that on the country’s credit card, ask our kids and our grandkids to pick up the tab because that’s not right. That’s not responsible.’

Ms Truss tsaid ‘now is the time to be bold’ in order to avoid ‘very difficult times’ (Picture: Sky News)

The financial focus of the battle to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister only intensified with the Bank’s warnings.

Even before, the contenders’ differing strategies were already prominent as they try to win the Tory members who will select the winner.

Ms Truss reiterated her pledge to immediately reverse the national insurance increase, introduced by Mr Sunak when he was in No 11, as well as cut other taxes to prevent the job losses of a recession.

‘What the Bank of England have said today is of course extremely worrying, but it is not inevitable,’ she said.

‘We can change the outcome and we can make it more likely that the economy grows.

‘Now is the …read more

Source:: Metro


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