The two finalists in the race for UK's next Prime Minister, Indian-British former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and UK's Foreign Secretary Liz Truss fought over the best way to address the rising cost-of-living crisis in the United Kingdom.
Sunak and Truss are going against each other in the race to elect a new Conservative Party Leader and the winner will become the British Prime Minister from September 2022 onwards. The race is beginning to heat up as of Monday, August 8.
Curbing inflation has become the major issue in the race for 10 Downing Street with both finalists putting forth different approaches to the crisis, according to a report by the Press Trust of India.
Truss has pledged immediate tax cuts if elected, however, Sunak has promised a more targeted approach with support for the most vulnerable households and tax cuts further down the line.
Over the weekend, Truss told The Financial Times that her plan of lowering taxes as opposed to offering handouts was more Conservative which led to a new row between the two candidates. The former Chancellor Sunak replied by saying it is "simply wrong to rule out further direct support" for struggling families, especially during winter.
In a column for The Sun, Sunak wrote his opinion against Truss's plan.
"Families are facing a long, hard winter with rising bills. Yet Liz's plan to deal with that is to give a big bung to large businesses and the well-off, leaving those who most need help out in the cold," Sunak wrote in The Sun.
"We need clear-eyed realism, not starry-eyed boosterism. That means bolder action to protect people from the worst of the winter. I have the right plan and experience to help people through."Rishi Sunak, UK's Former Chancellor and Candidate for UK Prime Minister.
Even though Truss has pledged a package of tax cuts worth GBP 30 Billion, Sunak argues that it would only increase inflation and save low-income households only GBP 59 a year. As the UK economy inches closer to a year-long recession as inflation is expected to surpass 13 percent later this year, according to the Bank of England's forecasts.
Former Labour British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, also a former chancellor has warned the country that the cost-of-living crisis is too serious to wait until the new Prime Minister takes office.
On the other hand, supporters of Sunak are urging Conservative Party members, who will be voting via postal and online ballots, to rely on Sunak's record of helping families during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis while he was the Chancellor.
In the meantime, surveys and polls show that the Foreign Secretary Truss is ahead of Sunak at 87 percent while the British-Indian former finance minister has 13 percent odds of winning.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)