Keir Starmer Dismisses “Nonsense” Tax Rise Claim from “Stroppy” Rishi Sunak in ITV Debate

Edinburgh, June 4, 2024 – The first general election head-to-head debate between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer took an unexpected turn as tax rises became a heated topic. Sunak, known for his brattish behavior, repeatedly interrupted Starmer during the televised clash on ITV. Here are the key moments from the debate:

VAT Tax Breaks and Tax Rises

Starmer earned applause when he highlighted Labour’s policy to end the VAT tax break for private schools. Sunak defended the perk, emphasizing that hardworking families should have the freedom to provide quality education for their children. However, Sunak then claimed that Labour wanted to burden voters with £2,000 of tax rises for every working family. Starmer swiftly branded this claim “absolute nonsense,” clarifying that the tax rises were targeted at private schools, energy giants, and closing the non-dom loophole. He also reminded viewers of Sunak’s record tax increases during his tenure as Chancellor.

Tax debate

NHS and Cost of Living Crisis

The debate touched on the NHS and the cost of living. Starmer empathized with a woman named Paula from Huddersfield, sharing his own experience of financial struggle growing up. He emphasized that he understood the anguish of worrying about bills and empathized with people facing similar challenges. Sunak, on the other hand, stumbled when discussing the NHS and cost of living, leaving the audience unimpressed.

Ill-Tempered Exchange

The debate became so heated that both leaders received reprimands from ITV debate host Julie Etchingham for talking over each other. Despite the tension, the clash provided insight into the candidates’ positions on critical issues, including immigration and the economy.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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