London, February 11: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he is “totally up for the fight” of pitching his policies to the electorate to win another term for the governing Conservative Party as he prepares for a general election expected to take place in the second half of the year. In an interview with The Times this weekend, the 43-year-old British Indian leader said he had reasons to be optimistic because the economy was “pointing in the right direction” and that the “future is going to be better”.
“At the beginning of this year there is a sense that the country is pointing in the right direction,” he told the newspaper. “Because economic conditions have improved, because the plan is working, you are starting to see mortgage rates come down and we have been able to cut taxes. I do believe those pressures are starting to ease and that hopefully over the course of this year, we can continue to make even more progress,” he said. Rishi Sunak Indicates UK General Election in Second Half of 2024
In a message as much for the voters as for the rebels within his own Tory ranks, the Conservative leader reiterated his plan to cut taxes for the hardworking people of the country. “It's because those are my values, those are the values of my party. It's one where hard work should be rewarded. And actually, the best way to express that through the tax system is to cut people's taxes so when they are working hard they get to enjoy more of the rewards of that for themselves and their family,” he said.
“Because economic conditions have improved, because the plan is working, you are starting to see mortgage rates come down and we have been able to cut taxes,” he added. "I'm totally up for the fight," he said. However, Sunak appeared to echo his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who has already sought to temper expectations over the size of any tax cuts in his Spring Budget next month, despite senior Tories publicly indicating they are coming. Thousands of Doctors in England to Strike Again as Health Likely to Become a Key UK Election Issue
"None of us ever talk about this stuff before budgets. Other people are. I think they're over-interpreting. What the Chancellor and I have said is that of course, our long-term plan is to cut people's taxes," he said. The Tories continue to lag behind the Opposition Labour Party in surveys, with the Sunak-led government contending with a high rate of anti-incumbency among the electorate.