Liz Truss's Economic Plans An 'Electoral Suicide Note' For The Tories, Says Dominic Raab

The deputy prime minister launched his attack after the leadership favourite ruled out giving 'handouts' to the poor.
Dominic Raab has hit out at fellow cabinet member Liz Truss.
Dominic Raab has hit out at fellow cabinet member Liz Truss.
Stefan Rousseau - PA Images via Getty Images

Liz Truss’s plans to prioritise tax cuts over “handouts” to the poorest households would be “an electoral suicide note” for the Conservatives, according to Dominic Raab.

The justice secretary said the Tories would be “cast into the impotent oblivion of opposition” under her approach.

His comments mark a clear escalation in the civil war raging within the Conservative Party as Truss and Rishi Sunak battle it out to succeed Boris Johnson.

Asked how she would tackle the cost of living crisis, Truss told the Financial Times: “The way I would do things is in a Conservative way of lowering the tax burden, not giving out handouts.”

By contrast, Sunak has said he would apply the same formula he used when he was chancellor and announced direct help through things like rebates on energy bills and cuts to council tax.

Writing in The Times, Raab - who is backing Sunak’s leadership bid - said: “If we go to the country in September with an emergency budget that fails to measure up to the task, voters will not forgive us as they see their living standards eroded and the financial security they cherish disappear before their eyes.

“Such a failure will read unmistakenly to the public like an electoral suicide note and see our great party cast into the impotent oblivion of opposition.”

Mark Harper, another Sunak supporter, told Sky News that he agreed with Raab’s comments.

He said Truss’s proposals would give a £1,800 tax cut to the prime minister, but only £59 to someone working full time on the national living wage, and “nothing at all” for pensioners.

Harper said: “I think… if she were elected and she weren’t to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in society, which is what she said – she said she’s not going to give them direct support – then I think that would be enormously damaging to our prospects.”

But Paul Scully MP, who is supporting Truss, hit back: “I don’t think the language of ‘electoral suicide’ is helpful in any way. It’s important we remain positive on what each team are doing.”

Responding to Sunak’s plans to tackle the cost of living last night, a Truss campaign source said: ”“The question for Rishi on the economics of his new handout pledges is: how is he going to fund these new promises?

“Three weeks ago he was saying more borrowing was irresponsible and inflationary. Has he changed his mind? It’s feels like another big U-turn. How can Rishi’s borrowing not be inflationary, but Liz’s tax cuts are?

“Intellectually it’s as watertight as a sieve.”


What's Hot