UK’s Labour says Sunak lied about its tax plans in election debate – Times of India


LONDON: Britain’s opposition Labour Party accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday of lying in a pre-election debate when he said Labour would increase taxes by 2,000 pounds ($2,554.40) for each family.
Sunak – whose Conservative Party is struggling in opinion polls before the July 4 vote – used the figure repeatedly in Tuesday’s television debate with Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Sunak’s Conservative Party last month published what it said were “formal Treasury and independent costings” of Labour policies which showed a 38.5-billion-pound black hole over the next four years if Labour wins the election.
Labour denied the assertion at the time and on Wednesday, it highlighted a letter from the top official at Britain’s finance ministry – reported by the BBC – who said civil servants had not been involved in the production or presentation of the costing and it should not be presented as an official estimate.
“The letter from the permanent secretary of the Treasury confirms what Labour have said last night, that the prime minister lied in the debate last night,” said Rachel Reeves, Labour’s top economic policy official.
Reeves has ruled out increases in the rates of income tax and social security contributions over the next parliament.
She was asked by broadcasters why Starmer had not moved more quickly in the debate to counter Sunak’s claim.
“Keir Starmer was really clear last night that what the prime minister has said was utter garbage. I would go further than that: the prime minister lied in the debate last night about Labour’s tax plans,” she said.
“Labour will not be increasing taxes on working people. I am very clear about that.”
Sunak doubled down on his claim on Wednesday, putting out a video on social media platform X showing a giant piggy bank floating in the sky, repeating the claim and saying: “If you think Labour will win, start saving.”

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