UK election: Sunak and Starmer clashed over tax policies, immigration was also discussed in the first debate

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour challenger Keir Starmer faced off in their first debate ahead of the July election on June 4. The two leaders clashed over how to revive Britain’s economy. Sunak accused the opposition of planning to raise taxes if it wins the upcoming July 4 election. Just weeks before the UK general election, both leaders stuck to their campaign statements in their first debate. Conservative Sunak claimed only he had a viable strategy to boost the economy, while Starmer blamed the Conservatives for 14 years of economic chaos.

During the lively debate, a relatively recent feature in British politics that attracts significant voter attention, the leaders debated the cost of living crisis, public healthcare waiting lists, and immigration. The questions highlighted the concerns of the common voter. Sunak hit out at Labour, higher taxes, and the aggressive push that Labour’s only plan was to raise taxes by £2,000 ($2,500 more than usual) per person. “Mark my words, Labour will raise your taxes. (It’s) in their DNA. Your job, your car, your pension, you name it, Labour will tax it,” he claimed.

Starmer did not immediately deny it, later dismissing the £2,000 figure as “nonsense”. Labour has pledged not to raise income tax or national insurance if it wins power. Starmer shared his working class background, comparing it to Sunak’s wealth.

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