One thing all the Tory leadership hopefuls can agree on is that ordinary people should get poorer. Last Sunday’s leadership debate saw all five vow to impose real-terms pay cuts on millions of public sector workers.
Foreign secretary Liz Truss said, “We have to be firm. We have to get the best possible deal we can to help our hard working public sector workers but what we can’t have is inflationary pay rises.”
Public pay bodies are on the cusp of recommending an “increase” in salaries of close to 5 percent. But with inflation running at 11.2 percent, workers are left with an ever-shrinking pay packet.
MPs were happy to abandon such restraint when considering their own pay. In April, they received a £2,212 pay rise.
With allowances and expenses, MPs are reaping in huge rewards while pushing austerity on just about everyone else.
Rishi Sunak is the frontrunner in this competition. Second place is more contested, but it looks like Penny Mordaunt could clinch it. But whoever is the next prime minister, it won’t be a clean slate.
They bring the foul stench of corruption and years of Tory austerity cuts to Number 10. Sunak is perhaps the most tarnished out of all the five.
In April, he narrowly avoided being completely politically torpedoed when the depths of his and his wife’s tax dodging emerged.
His wife, Akshata Murthy, has been using non‑domicile status to avoid paying British taxes on her overseas earnings. Murthy grabbed £4.4 million as a result of her status in 2021 alone.
His backtracking on Murphy’s tax arrangements was a desperate attempt to save his own skin, not a move borne out of genuine remorse.
And if Sunak lands the top job, he will be the second prime minister to be fined over breaching Covid-19 restrictions. Now no longer chancellor, his grubby Tory paws are still over government policy.
On Wednesday, the Tories will publish a new banking bill that seeks to give the ministers more powers over the City. Drawn up by Sunak, the plan will mean ministers call in” regulatory decisions by the Bank of England that they don’t like.”
He argued that, “We will finish the job of ending the EU system where ultimate power lies with faceless regulators and vest that power in our sovereign parliament.”
But parliament is a cesspit of corruption, cronyism and crisis. If anything, the Tory leadership contest has highlighted the calibre of individuals who lord over us.
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