Tory leadership: The major issue where Rishi Sunak is different to everyone else
Tax cutting has emerged as the key battleground in the race to be the next Tory leader with the candidates promising to chop contributions by billions – with one notable exception.
Rishi Sunak has distanced himself from the rest of the pack by refusing to pledge uncosted tax cuts, claiming he will not sell voters “fairytales”.
It comes as the UK faces the highest tax burden in 50 years, according to forecasts from the UK's fiscal watchdog.
Read more: Boris Johnson sparks fears of more scandals amid calls for him to stand down now
Economists and former Tory chancellors are among those criticising candidates for promising vast tax cuts – without explaining how they'd pay for them.
Here's what each candidate has said about taxes:
Sunak has positioned himself as the fiscal realist in the contest by refusing to promise immediate lower taxes, instead pledging to "get the economy growing" as a priority.
The former chancellor used his campaign lunch to take a swipe at his rivals, saying their tax promises were "not credible".
Sunak said: “It is not credible to promise lots more spending and lower taxes.
“I had to make some of the most difficult choices of my life as chancellor, in particular how to deal with our debt and borrowing after COVID.
"I have never hidden away from those, I certainly won’t pretend now the choices I made and the things I voted for were somehow not necessary.
“While that may be politically inconvenient for me, it is also the truth. As is the fact that once we’ve gripped inflation, I will get the tax burden down. It is a question of when, not if.”
Read more: When did Boris Johnson finally decide to quit?
He is currently the bookies' favourite going into the leadership contest, and has so far enjoyed the most MPs coming out publicly and backing his leadership bid.
The former health minister has pledged to cut fuel duty by 10p, scrap the national insurance rise from 2023, bring forward the 1p income tax cut by 2023, and scrap the upcoming corporation tax rise.
The chancellor has pledged to cut income tax, review business rates, and cancel planned corporation tax rises.
He has said this will be partially funded by 20% cuts to government departments.
Read more: Tory leadership: Boris Johnson could be replaced by mid September, minister says
The serving foreign secretary has pledged to reverse the national insurance hike and lower corporation tax.
The transport minister has pledged to reduce the basic rate of tax by a penny in the pound immediately if he wins the leadership contest.
The chair of the health select committee on Monday appeared to suggest he wanted to cut “all taxes”.
However, his more specific plans include cutting corporation tax to 15%, and cutting business rates.
Read more: Shapps claims he was 'hugely uneasy' defending Partygate... six months after criticising media for covering it
The attorney general has pledged to cut VAT on energy bills and reduce the planned corporation tax hike.
The foreign affairs select committee chair has pledged to reverse the National Insurance hike, reduce fuel tax, and drop “un-conservative” tariffs.
The trade minister has said she wants to cut taxes, but has so far not said which ones.
The former equalities minister has said she will reduce personal and corporate taxes - but added she won't engage in “tax bidding war".
The backbencher has said he seeks to cut taxes to help with the cost of living, but is yet to outline which ones.
Watch: Rishi Sunak and other Conservative hopefuls announce leadership bids to replace Boris Johnson - with more expected this weekend