Liz Truss v Rishi Sunak explained: What are their policies and where do they clash?

1 September 2022, 12:08

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are going toe-to-toe
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are going toe-to-toe. Picture: Getty

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are approaching the finishing line in the Tory leadership contest.

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Ms Truss is expected to win – but Mr Sunak's team have refused to throw in the towel, especially after a strong showing in Wednesday's hustings run by LBC.

Here are some of their key policies and how they differ.


Rishi Sunak has pledged to cut the basic rate of income tax from 20% to 16% inside of seven years, while VAT on energy bills would be scrapped, and cut investment tax. But he has warned tax cuts will need to wait until inflation is back under control.

Liz Truss has long promoted her plan to cut £30bn of tax from the moment she takes office. The National Insurance hike will be reversed and the corporation tax rise cancelled.

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Health and the NHS

Mr Sunak has proposed fining people who miss GP appointments £10 in a bid to clear up the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic.

Ms Truss wants to send £13bn that was set for the NHS to go to councils so they can pay for social care.

Read more: 'He's more interested in banning pizza ads': Truss and Sunak take aim at Sadiq Khan over 'appalling' London crime


Mr Sunak backed Leave and pledged to overhaul or delete EU rules retained by the UK after leaving the bloc, which he believes will help Britain’s economy.

Ms Truss supported Remain in 2016 but has since taken on the appearance of a true believer Brexiteer. She wants to overhaul the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Rishi Sunak put in a strong performance on Wednesday
Rishi Sunak put in a strong performance on Wednesday. Picture: Getty


Mr Sunak has pledged to plough on with the controversial Rwanda plan which would see illegal migrants deported to Rwanda and promoted the idea of "three strikes and you're out" for foreign crooks.

Ms Truss also heavily backs the Rwanda plan and want the Royal Navy to keep patrolling the Channel.

Final Tory leadership hustings: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss join Nick Ferrari | Watch again


Mr Sunak will allow developments in cities and brownfield sites to progress quicker but doubled down on his desire to see the greenbelt protected.

Ms Truss has emphasised consent from communities and wants to abolish housing targets, as well as speed up brownfield development.

Liz Truss has vowed to raise defence spending to 3% in 10 years
Liz Truss has vowed to raise defence spending to 3% in 10 years. Picture: Getty


An issue that's received more focus after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Mr Sunak suggested he would be willing to go past the Nato target of spending at least 2% of GDP on defence.

Ms Truss vowed to spend 3% by 2030 and look again at army cuts.

Mr Sunak wants to expand grammar schools that are still going and start winding down degrees which don’t lead to good salaries in the future, and try to keep young people learning English and maths.

Ms Truss, who has often talked down her schooling in Leeds, will give anyone who gets three A*s at A-level an automatic interview Oxbridge.

Read more: Truss 'plans to hike income tax thresholds' as part of rescue package amid spiralling cost of living crisis

Read more: Fare rises and bus cuts warning despite TfL securing £1.2bn bailout from the Government

The environment

Mr Sunak wants to stick to going carbon neutral by 2050, and promoted developing more offshore wind power, while Ms Truss has promoted ending fracking while supporting the principle of the 2050 target.

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