Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“Our low-tax approach… and make no mistake, we are cutting taxes”

PM Rishi Sunak, keynote speech at the Global Investment Summit

Fact

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said during his keynote speech at the 2023 Global Investment Summit that the government was taking a “low-tax approach… and make no mistake, we are cutting taxes.”

The Institute for Fiscal Studies found in September 2023 that “this will be the biggest tax-raising parliament on record.”

“By the time of the next election in 2024, on current forecasts, taxes will amount to around 37% of national income – a level not sustained in the post-war period.”

In a separate document from October 2022, the IFS notes that freezes “to personal tax parameters will alone reduce households’ income by £1,250 on average by 2025–26.”

Verdict

Rishi Sunak was correct in the sense that his government has cut some taxes – for example, National Insurance. However, as the IFS has shown, taxes are rising. While his claim that “we are cutting taxes” has an element of truth, it is also highly misleading.

Additional Note

The above claim to be cutting taxes is yet another example of the evolving difference between Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak’s methodology of deceit. Johnson’s lies were often shameless fabrications, for instance the claim of 40 new hospitals.

Sunak’s lies tend to be more subtle, devious, and carefully constructed. They often contain an element of truth, which has been twisted or repackaged to create a false impression in the mind of the voter. To put it another way: there’s something cunning about Sunak’s falsehoods, as if he knows he isn’t quite telling the truth. 

We emailed Rishi Sunak’s office and Downing Street offering them the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Published 28 Jun 2024
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