Sunak hits back at Charlie Stayt handout demand Families are getting £350 increase!

Rishi Sunak quizzed by Neil on increases in tax

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak appeared on BBC Breakfast and clashed with Charlie Stayt after he grilled the Conservative Frontbencher over the £20 Universal Credit uplift. The uplift, introduced to help the less well off throughout the pandemic, is set to be phased out despite demands to keep it in place. Mr Stayt said he and Mr Sunak could never understand the situation those on Universal Credit face but the Chancellor bit back and pointed out the other government interventions which will raise the income of the poorest – such as the increase in the minimum wage.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast, Mr Sunak was grilled over Universal Credit as he explained the Government’s commitment to increasing employment.

But Mr Stayt sympathised with viewers who may be on the benefit and who would be losing out on £20 a week uplift after it ends towards September.

He told the Chancellor: “Every time I hear you saying what your plan is around jobs, I’m still trying to picture the scene of a family.

“Who come to that precipice moment and find that their weekly income is going down by £20 a week.

£I don’t think it will be much comfort to them to know that you have a plan around finding jobs in the future.

“I don’t think it’ll be much comfort to them, to the realities of what they’re facing that week and how they’re going to afford to live.

“And it seems to me maybe me and you will not best place to judge that because we are not living that.”

Mr Sunak faces calls from fellow Conservative heavyweight Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Labour MPs to keep the £20 uplift permanent. 

Charity Turn2Us predict half a million people could be plunged into poverty overnight if the uplift was removed.

The Chancellor replied: “The good news is there are far fewer families living in that situation than there were years ago.

“People put in poverty have fallen, the number of people in poverty has fallen as a result of the actions that the Government has taken over the last several years.

“And you talked about those who are in work, well that same family with someone’s working full time on the national living wage is going to see a £350 increase in their earnings this year because of the national living wage increase.

“They’re also going to have the opportunity to get more training, paid for by the Government worth £3,500 and we know that if they can do that they are likely to earn more, get a job or get a better job.

“Those are the right ways for us to help people, no one is saying families like that don’t need help – of course they do.

“And we’re providing that support, but we’re just doing it in a different way.”

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