Ashwin has denied that tightening fiscal policy will lead to a recession as he claimed that rival Liz Truss’ plans for massive tax cuts would create a “sugar rush boom”.
The Tory leadership hopeful was grilled for nearly half an hour by veteran political journalist Andrew Neil about the economy, immigration and his wife’s tax status, with whom Ms Truss has so far refused to sit down.
Mr Sink used the Channel 4 interview to give a fresh take on Ms Truss’ approach to taxation, an issue that has dominated No 10’s bitter run.
There is a limited number of asylum seekers that we are able to assimilate.
Neill challenged the former chancellor on his plans to tighten monetary policy at a time when “the global economy has stalled, because monetary policy is tightening”, suggesting he would “ensure a recession”.
Mr Sink said: “I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do that we don’t add fuel to the fire of an already existing inflationary problem.
“We should focus on long-term growth because that’s what we need, sustainable growth, not a sugar rush boom that makes us feel better for months, but then spirals out of control, letting inflation creep into the system. , let the Bank of England react with even higher interest rates.
Mr Sink said the recession was “not predicted by most independent forecasters here in the UK”.
He reiterated that his priority was to “get inflation under control as quickly as possible because inflation makes everyone poorer”.
Mr Sink defended his policy of raising the National Insurance cap as “undoubtedly, objectively progressive” after Mr Neill suggested it would penalize workers, and denied that it would increase energy bills. But his pledge to cut VAT was a U-turn that showed “bad judgement”.
Neil asked him: “In February you told the Commons that reducing VAT on energy bills would, in your words, ‘disproportionately benefit the wealthiest candidates’.
“Now, as your campaign has failed to gain traction among Tory members, you have proposed suspending VAT on energy bills – not just a bad decision but a lack of consistency.”
Mr Sink replied: “No, absolutely not. I’ve always said from the start that as we knew more about what the energy bills would actually be in the autumn that I would be prepared to do more. will
On immigration, the former chancellor said there was a “limited amount” of asylum seekers in the UK.
He dismissed Mr Neill’s claim that his proposed cap on the number of asylum seekers accepted each year was “unsavory”, as it “managed” to take people in and ” Controlled” system argued.
Mr Neill pressed him on why he wanted to turn away “legal asylum seekers”.
Mr Sink replied: “Because there is a limited number of asylum seekers that we are able to integrate and accommodate.
“At any given moment, Andrew, there are probably a billion people who would love to go to Britain because it’s a wonderful country, so we obviously can’t accept them all.”
The multi-millionaire ex-chancellor appeared unfazed as he deflected questions about his wife’s former non-resident tax status – an arrangement which reportedly saved her millions, saying : “I’m running for office and not my wife.”
Mr Sink was trying to re-enter the leadership race after his rival Ms Truss won a major endorsement from Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
Asked during a visit to Norfolk on Friday whether he was confident he was now set to win the contest, the foreign secretary said: “I’m not at all complacent. I’m fighting for every vote across the country.” ‘
In a thinly veiled dig at the former chancellor’s record, he said it would be “dangerous” for the country to continue on its current economic path.
Ms Truss said the way to achieve growth was to “help people and businesses keep more of their own money”, adding that “the number one priority should be avoiding recession”.
He said: “The danger is continuing down the same economic path, which is currently forecast to lead us into recession. That is the danger.
“What I’m talking about is creating opportunities, continuing growth, keeping taxes down. This will see the economy grow, and it will enable us to pay back our debt faster. Will.”
Asked if she was watching Mr Sink’s Channel 4 interview, Ms Truss said she would be celebrating her wedding anniversary.
She told reporters: “Today is my wedding anniversary. So I will be celebrating 22 years of marriage with my husband.
He was quizzed separately on a range of policy areas alongside Tory members on Thursday, the first of 12 sessions for party loyalists across the country to grill the final two candidates. So, before voting for the next Tory leader and prime minister ends on September. 2.