Rishi Sunak vs Liz Truss: Their plans explained simply

What do Truss and Sunak actually mean? (PENNSYLVANIA)

Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will be the next prime ministers.

They both served in one of the highest offices in the country under Johnson and will spend the summer campaigning across the country appealing to Conservative Party members for their votes ahead of the winner being announced on 5 september.

But who are they and what do they represent? Yahoo News UK summarizes their life and policies below.


Sunak is 42 and Truss will be 47 later this month. If Sunak becomes prime minister, he would be Britain’s youngest post-war leader and the sixth youngest since the office was established.


Sunak was educated at the prestigious Winchester College, a private school, where he served as Head Boy. He then studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and earned a master’s degree at Stanford University. His parents, Yashvir and Usha Sunak, were born in Kenya and Tanzania respectively, and grew up in India.

Read more: Calls grow for a ‘consumer strike’ over energy bills – Martin Lewis

Rishi Sunak is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of an Indian tech billionaire.  (PENNSYLVANIA)

Rishi Sunak is married to Akshata Murty, the daughter of an Indian tech billionaire. (PENNSYLVANIA)

Sunak, a practicing Hindu, got married in 2009 to Akshata Murty, who is the daughter of an Indian tech billionaire. The couple are estimated to be worth around £730million, making them one of the UK’s wealthiest families, and have two young daughters.

Truss was first raised in Scotland before moving to Leeds where she attended a state school.

She studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and is married to accountant Hugh O’Leary and the couple have two daughters.

Actual job

Truss is still Foreign Secretary after remaining loyal to Boris Johnson when he suffered a wave of resignations that toppled his government.

Sunak served as chancellor until his resignation on July 5, a resignation that helped trigger the collapse of the government.

He is now a backbencher.

What are their plans to deal with…

1. The cost of living crisis

Both candidates said soaring inflation and the resulting cost-of-living crisis are the most pressing problem facing the country – but they offered very different solutions.

Sunak said he would prioritize responsible management of the economy, which he said means rising inflation must be tackled before launching any tax cuts.

Read more: Tory leadership race: Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak agree to TV showdown on Sky News

Rising energy bills are the most pressing issue for most voters in the UK.  (PENNSYLVANIA)

Rising energy bills are the most pressing issue for most voters in the UK. (PENNSYLVANIA)

As Chancellor, he announced £37billion of funding to help people facing rising costs of living, primarily to help with rising energy bills.

He said he would maintain the 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance contributions that came into effect in April 2022 as part of a boost in funding for health and social services.

Sunak is also sticking to plans to raise corporate tax to 25% next year.

In many ways, Sunak’s offer to voters is that if they liked his approach to the budget during COVID and the cost of living crisis as Chancellor, then they know what to expect from him as as prime minister.

Truss, on the other hand, offered an alternative view that focused on lowering taxes much earlier. She said she would roll back National Insurance and corporation tax increases as soon as she takes office.

She also said she would scrap green levies on energy bills for two years to reduce their cost – they currently account for just under 10% of a household’s annual energy bills.

Separately, she also said she wanted to extend the Marriage Tax Relief, which would allow couples to transfer their entire £12,570 tax relief to their partner.

To date, however, Truss has not provided any insight into how these tax changes would be paid for. She wants to extend the length of time the government pays off the huge pile of debt it has racked up during COVID.

2. Immigration

Truss and Sunak said they support the government’s controversial plan to deport illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

Truss said she could ask Turkey to become a deportation destination as well, but this was ridiculed by the Turkish government.

3. Climate change

Both candidates have said they want to maintain the UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050, but their statements differ slightly.

Sunak said he would maintain the ban on new onshore wind farms, but wants to introduce a target to make the UK energy self-sufficient by 2045 with a massive increase in offshore turbines.

Sunak wants to massively expand offshore wind turbines.  (Getty)

Sunak wants to massively expand offshore wind turbines. (Getty)

Truss also said she wanted to keep the net zero goal (in a way that “doesn’t harm businesses or consumers”), but also said she wanted to temporarily reduce environmental taxes on energy bills. .

She also said she would review the fracking ban.


Sunak said he wanted to be tougher on criminals, with extended sentences for those who refuse to stand trial.

He also said he would give the justice secretary the power to personally overrule the parole board when dangerous defenders are to be freed. It would be a controversial move and could potentially be seen as a politicization of a supposedly independent judiciary.

Sunak also slammed police saying grooming gangs in Rochdale should ‘never repeat themselves’ and said officers should focus on ‘fighting real crime’ rather than ‘bad Twitter jokes’ .

Truss has so far not mentioned any specific reform of the police or the criminal justice system. She has previously described custodial sentences as being too long, that the “wrong people are in prison” and that the prisons are too overcrowded to function.

Health and social care

Despite consistently high on the list of issues of most concern to voters, the NHS – and social services – have so far not received much attention in the leadership campaign.

The NHS has appeared in the leadership debate.  (PENNSYLVANIA)

The NHS has appeared in the leadership debate. (PENNSYLVANIA)

The only significant mention of Sunak was during the leadership debates, where he said the NHS would continue to be his number one priority if elected leader.

Truss said she supported the extra money being provided to the NHS to help reduce the backlog, but not the way it is funded by increased National Insurance contributions.


Sunak backed leaving the EU and pledged to remove or reform any remaining EU laws that are still in force in the UK.

He also said he wanted to reduce red tape in the City of London.

Truss backed Remain in the referendum and faced questions from Tories about her stance as well as her former Liberal Democrat membership.

She recently said she was ‘wrong’ for supporting Remain in the referendum and pledged to make Brexit work.