Starmer accuses Sunak of promising £46bn unfunded tax cut as he taunts PM about Liz Truss’ new book at PMQs

17 April 2024, 12:40

Starmer and Sunak went head-to-head in the first post-Easter PMQs session
Starmer and Sunak went head-to-head in the first post-Easter PMQs session. Picture: PMQs/LBC
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Keir Starmer repeatedly accused Rishi Sunak of making a £46bn unfunded promise to cut National Insurance in the first PMQs after Easter.

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Returning to Parliament after the Easter recess, Starmer began by taunting the Prime Minister about the release of Liz Truss' new book.

The Labour leader joked that he had a "rare unsigned copy" of the book and reminded Mr Sunak of her mini-budget, which sent the markets into turmoil and crashed the pound.

He added that it was "quite the read" and pointed out that Truss said unveiling her mini-budget was the "happiest moment" of her 49 days in Downing Street.

"Has the prime minister met anyone with a mortgage who agrees?" Starmer quipped.

It marked the start of a personal PMQs, as Sunak quipped back that Starmer should spend "more time reading the deputy leader's tax advice".

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Starmer's deputy, Angela Rayner, is under police investigation for 'multiple allegations' connected to the sale of her council house ten years ago.

Sunak's tax jibe got the loudest jeer in the house this afternoon, and Starmer kept it personal with own jibe about Sunak's wife's 'non-dom' tax status.

Iain Dale speaks to Liz Truss

Starmer then turned to what he described as an unfunded £46bn promise to scrap National Insurance, which he claimed Sunak would only be able to do by cutting NHS funding, state pensions, or hiking taxes further.

But Sunak hailed the Spring Budget, pointing out that the average worker will be £900 better off per year as a result of a two per cent cut in NI.

Starmer continued to ask Sunak about his 'plans for unfunded tax cuts' - but the PM simply didn't bite, insisting his government had delivered the biggest tax cut since the 1980s.

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It comes after the release of Truss' new book, '10 Years to Save the West', with the former Prime Minister being interviewed by LBC's Iain Dale ahead of its release.

The Norfolk MP made a series of provocative claims, including calling for the Bank of England governor to resign and endorsing Donald Trump in this year's US general election.