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Will Rishi Sunak’s tax claim stick in voters’ minds?


The day after the debate the night before, there was a row over the dubious Tory claim that a Labor government would charge around £2,000 more in tax over the next four years.

In last night’s debate on ITV, Rishi Sunak repeatedly made this claim.

It took Sir Keir Starmer a while to dismiss it as a liar.

Today, since the discussion has not been decided, this claim is at the center of analysis.

Here is the main question: How memorable has this number become, and how reliable is it?

BBC Verify has taken a look at it here – I say that he risks misleading people, which is doubtful.

In that case, that number was actually wrong, but there was a strong controversy surrounding it, which made it incredibly notable.

So, what £2,000 will stick in people’s minds, eliminating any fears that a Labor government might pay taxes?

To what extent do Labour’s attempts to brand it “rubbish” undermine Conservative confidence and credibility?

Let’s take a look at this number.

Conservatives claim On page 6 of this document Under the heading “Labour’s tax rises”, “the impact of £38.5bn of unfunded spending would equate to £2,094 per working household over the next four years”.

Rishi Sunak and Minister Claire Coutinho this morning He claimed the number It was reached by neutral civil servants.

This disagreement aside, regarding the Treasury Department’s involvement, there is a question about how this number was arrived at.

The Conservatives point to their document I mentioned and claim that their figures are actually an underestimate of Labour’s potential costs.

They are inclined to do so, and the Prime Minister has shared a video on this topic on social media.

Labor has gone further in trying to tear down the credibility of the figure, with a whiff of overcorrection after Keir Starmer failed to hit it as forcefully as some opposition figures would have liked last night.

Shadow Chancellor Jonathan Ashworth came out and called it a “lie” this morning, and Sir Keir Starmer did the same this afternoon.

There was also a video from Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves.

The party has sent emails to Labor supporters asking for donations so they can take on Rishi Sunak who has “lied 11 times”.

All of this increases the salience of the class.

The casual observer of politics – or, in other words, the vast majority of people – may only hear the story in looser terms, or in other words: work and more taxes.

So, how ingrained is this claim in the minds of voters, and how credible is it? Those are the two big questions.

And by the way, in the interest of transparency, it raises a dilemma for journalists like me.

Do you report the class and raise the profile of a disputed figure, or do you not report it and do so?

Both are active choices and there is no simple answer.

My hunch, for what it’s worth, is that it would be strange for me to look past today’s political disagreement, but it’s important to reflect it in a rounded way that tries to separate the claims from all sides — so you can. Come up with your own point of view about what’s happening.



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