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Rishi Sunak pledges 20% tax cut by end of decade in last-gasp pitch to members

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theguardian.com

Rishi Sunak has pledged to slash taxes by 20% by the end of the decade in a last-gasp pitch to Conservative members with the first ballots set to drop in the leadership race.But in one of his strongest attacks yet on the frontrunner, Liz Truss, Sunak warned party members against an “act of self-sabotage” that could cost the party the election and to be wary of major spending pledges and tax cuts which he has previously dismissed as fantasy economics.“I would urge them to treat with caution any vision that doesn’t involve any difficult trade offs and remember that if something sounds good to be true – then it probably is,” he said.Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury who worked under Sunak, said households could not afford to wait seven years.

Clarke, a key ally of Truss, said: “Liz will cut taxes in seven weeks, not seven years … People are facing the biggest cost of living crisis in decades and the tax burden is at its highest level in 70 years.”The former chancellor made the pledge having faced internal criticism from backers for his narrative of restraint versus Truss’ tax-cutting ambitions.In the announcement on the day party members will begin receiving their ballots, Sunak said he would cut the basic rate of income tax to 16p by the end of the next parliament, which he said would represent the largest cut to income tax in 30 years.Truss has said she will cut taxes “on day one” of becoming prime ministers, pledging to reverse the national insurance rise pushed through by Sunak in the Treasury as well as halting the planned corporation tax rise next year, another Sunak proposal.Sunak has said he will cut income tax by 1% from 2024 – a pledge made as chancellor – but said his number one priority is to

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