Laura Kuenssberg grills Keir Starmer on spending plans
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The BBC ‘s Laura Kuenssberg took Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to task over his plans for the country if he was to take over as Prime Minister. She pointed to the former governor of the Bank of England, Lord Mervyn King, who told the BBC programme that the next government needs to be honest about the “reduction in our national standard of living”. Sir Keir largely dodged the questions, as he insisted he would “not write his manifesto” live on air.
Ms Kuenssberg said: “We heard Lord King say here, powerfully and clearly, that we have all been living in a fantasy land.
“He said that public expenditure will be going up and that taxes are going to go up, not just for the richest but for everyone. Do you accept that?”
Sir Keir admitted that “damage has been done to our economy”, adding: “Any incoming government will have to pick up the mess of the Tory’s making.”
However, he refused to go into detail about whether he would raise taxes across the board.
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Ms Kuenssberg hit back: “We have heard the former chief of the Bank of England saying you have to be realistic and be truthful to the public, that you have to say taxes are going to go up.”
Lord King had earlier told Ms Kuenssberg that the UK faces three main economic challenges – high inflation, high national debt and the fact the country was “saving far too little” and not investing enough.
The Labour leader responded: “We need the OBR report so we can see the extent of the damage.
“I know there are going to be tough choices meaning can’t do some of the things we want to do as a Labour government.”
He went on to list changes that Labour would make to the windfall tax, non-dom status, tax breaks for private schools and loopholes for tax equity.
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However, he refused to say if NHS funding would rise in line with inflation under a Labour government.
He said: “Laura, it needs more than money. My wife works in the NHS, my mum worked in the NHS, my sister works in the NHS, I ran a public service.
“I know that, of course, they need more money, but I also know that it needs reform. The NHS needs to move to a preventative model, but it’s part of the answer.”
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Sir Keir started his interview on the BBC by again calling for a general election, saying: “We need a general election.
“Do the public want to continue with this chaos or do they want stability with a Labour government?
“We don’t need another change at the Tory party, we need a change of government.”
He criticised the “chaotic circus” of a Conservative leadership race between Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson, and Penny Mordaunt
The Labour leader said people up and down the country were “fed up to the back teeth” from the Tory infighting during the cost of living crisis.
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