The Tory leadership race is down the the final two. Now, the Conservative membership gets to vote on our next Prime Minister. But will it be Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former Chancellor Rishi Sunak? And, importantly, what will the Tory leadership candidates mean for dads if they win?
Let’s take a look at their voting records to see what we can expect from the two hopefuls vying for the keys to 10 Downing Street to see if that gives us a clearer picture.
Liz Truss has been the MP for South West Norfolk since 2010 and Foreign Secretary since last year. In her twelve years in parliament, this is how she has voted on major issues:
Interestingly, Truss attacked Sunak in the TV debates for raising taxes, but her record shows she has almost always voted for rises in VAT and higher taxes on plane tickets, whilst also generally backing increasing tax on alcohol. On the flipside, she also usually votes to raise the level at which people pay income tax and almost always opposes cutting corporation tax, implementing mansion taxes and creating bankers’ bonus taxes whilst usually voting to reduce capital gains tax.
The Foreign Secretary consistently votes in favour of Academy schools and giving schools in general more autonomy over their affairs. She has always voted for tuition fees and for increasing the cap of those fees too.
Truss usually votes against green initiatives, such as measures to prevent climate change and giving incentives for low carbon emission power generation methods. On fuel tax, she has voted for lower fuel tax on five occasions and against cutting the levy nine times. She is in favour of high speed rail infrastructure.
Liz Truss is a supporter of the bedroom tax, reducing housing benefit for social tenants with unoccupied rooms. She has also backed reducing welfare payments consistently and voted against raising benefits for those who can’t work because they are ill or disabled. She also always opposes using public money to offer guaranteed jobs to long-term unemployed young people.
The Norfolk MP has continually voted for equal gay rights and in favour of same-sex marriages. She backed repealing the Human Rights Act 1998 and voted against keeping the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law after Brexit.
Rishi Sunak is the MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire, a position he took up in 2015. He took over the role of Chancellor in 2020, quitting earlier this year and sparking a string of other resignations in government in protest at the actions of the outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Here’s how Sunak votes:
Sunak has only been in parliament since 2015 so was not present during votes over increasing VAT. He voted in 2015 to cap the rate at 20% until after the next general election, of which there have been two since, with no additional vote on the level of VAT. Elsewhere, he has voted to increase tax on alcohol, against higher taxes on banks and for reducing capital gains tax and corporation tax. As Chancellor, he increased the rate of National Insurance. The backlash following the announcement saw him raise the threshold at which workers pay NI in order to shield lower income families from the impact of the rise.
On university tuition fees, Sunak has voted against scrapping them and took the stance that he wouldn’t oppose an increase in them in the future. He is consistently in favour of academy schools.
Both Tory leadership candidates voted against measures to prevent climate change. Of 14 votes, Sunak voted against measures 12 times and was absent on two occasions. He is against incentives for organisations that develop low carbon emission electricity generation methods. Sunak voted in favour of introducing high speed rail infrastructure.
The former Chancellor has consistently voted for reducing benefit spending and against paying higher benefits for those unable to work.
We don’t have data on Sunak’s views on same-sex marriage as he was absent for the two votes on that topic during his time in the HOuse of Commons. He backed repealing the Human Rights Act 1998 and opposed transposing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in UK law after Brexit.
The Tory leadership candidates
So, there you have their voting records. In truth, there is very little to pick between them historically as they tend to vote with their party. It is will be interesting to see what the Tory leadership candidates promise for the future as they head out and about to canvas for votes.
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Thank you to the excellent They Work For You for the information in this article