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Keir Starmer Accuses Tories Of 'Salting The Ground' By Spending Billions On Tax Cuts

Keir Starmer says the Tories will leave the country in a worse state than they found it 14 years ago.
Keir Starmer says the Tories will leave the country in a worse state than they found it 14 years ago.

Keir Starmer says the Tories will leave the country in a worse state than they found it 14 years ago.

Keir Starmer has accused the Tories of planning to spend billions of pounds on tax cuts so there is no money left for an incoming Labour government.

He said Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak want to “salt the ground” in the upcoming Budget, where the chancellor is expected to dramatically slash the tax burden.

The Labour leader said that showed the Conservatives were “not acting in the national interest, they’re acting in party interest”.

His comments come amid mounting speculation the Treasury could have up to £20 billion more than expected available for pre-election giveaways.

Hunt cut 2% off the rate of National Insurance at last year’s autumn statement, and is considering further reductions in the Budget on March 6.

However, several opinion polls have suggested that voters would rather see the money spent on improving public services than tax cuts.

Starmer said: “It’s very obvious that they are trying to salt the ground. So they’re not acting in the national interest, they’re acting in party interest.

“They briefed the autumn financial statement out as a series of traps for Keir Starmer and the Labour Party. That means they have totally neglected the national interest, they’re not even pretending that they’re making decisions in the best interests of the country.

“They’re making decisions in the best interests, as they see it, of the Tory Party and their best chance of creating divides into the election. That’s why we’re in this mess.”

Starmer said public service were “in a much worse position” than they were when the Tories came to power in 2014.

He said: “There’s a basic rule in politics as far as I’m concerned, which is whichever party you are, if you leave your country worse than when you found it, that is unforgivable and that’s the position we’re in at the moment.”

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