Tory MP says Sunak’s spring statement measures will have ‘negligible impact’ on most vulnerable


Rishi Sunak’s spring statement measures will have a “negligible impact” for the country’s most vulnerable, a Tory MP has warned.

In some of the strongest criticism of the chancellor so far from the Conservative backbenches, Peter Aldous stressed those on benefits will see a “significant fall in their spending power”.

The former Conservative work and pensions secretary, Stephen Crabb, also insisted on Thursday that there is “certainly more to be done” by ministers in supporting those on the lowest incomes.

Their remarks came after the Resolution Foundation warned that 1.3 million, including 500,000 children, could be pushed into absolute poverty by the cost-of-living squeeze.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies also claimed Mr Sunak had failed to protect the country’s poorest households, saying: “It is hard to understand the lack of action on this front”.

Benefits will increase by 3.1 per cent, but with inflation set to average over 7.4 per cent, campaigners have warned the government more of the most vulnerable will be forced to rely on emergency food parcels.

While Mr Aldous welcomed measures to reduce fuel duty and remove VAT on energy efficiency materials, he said he was “disappointed” the chancellor didn’t introduce targeted support for the poorest.

In an article for Politics Homethe Tory MP said: “This means that universal credit and other benefit claimants, who are most exposed to inflationary pressures, will once again see a significant fall in their spending power following a decade of real-terms freezes or cuts”.

He said the effects of the this could “imperil the livelihoods of those who are a long way from the workplace”.

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“While the measures announced will go some way to alleviating the crisis for many families, it is worth putting in context the more negligible impact they will have for the most vulnerable.”

Mr Aldous said he continued to believe the decision to remove the £20-per-week uplift to universal credit — despite repeated warnings from anti-poverty campaigners — was a “strategic mistake”.

“Having not remedied this mistake in his statement, I fear the chancellor has now doubled down on it,” he added.

“With the economy in a state of near full employment, we must recognize the prevailing attitude that ‘more work is always the answer’ cannot spare everyone from the potential destitution some now face.”

Mr Crabb — a former work and pensions secretary — also told the BBC: “The measures announced yesterday should not be dismissed – they will make a meaningful difference to a great many families in Wales where take home pay is lower than average and where running a car is essential for many.

“But there is certainly more to do when it comes to supporting those on the very lowest incomes and I don’t think waiting until the autumn budget for further action is sustainable.”

Speaking on Friday, Boris Johnson insisted the chancellor had donated a “huge amount to address the increase in cost of living” and cited the announcement on cutting the national insurance contribution threshold.

However, he told LBC: “Yes… as we go forward, we need to do more.”

He added: “I’ll be bringing forward a British energy security strategy, which is intended to make good some of the mistakes of the last 25 years in which we haven’t really done enough to ensure that we have our own energy supplies, we need to go big on nuclear in this in this country.

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“We need to go much bigger on offshore wind, we can make sure that by investing in energy production, domestic energy production, independent energy production, we can have sustainable, long term supplies and that will bring down the costs for consumers over the long term. term.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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