Pensioners’ FURY after Spring Statement: Sunak will ‘incur our wrath at next election’

BBC Breakfast: Rishi Sunak says he 'can't solve every problem'

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In a poll that ran from 3pm on Wednesday, March 23 to 9am on Thursday, March 24, asked its readers: “Are you happy with Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement?” A total of 1,644 readers voted, with dozens of comments left in an emotional debate below the accompanying article.

Overwhelmingly, the answer to the question posed was a resounding “no”, with 89 percent – 1,470 people – choosing that option.

Ten percent of voters – 159 people said “yes”, and one percent said they did not know either way.

In the comments section, readers shared their frustrations with the Spring Statement, with many taking aim at the Conservative Party as a whole.

Username John Pettitt wrote: “Nothing in that statement for the pensioners who will take their revenge at the next election. The end of the Tories.”

And username tfifriday said: “No sign of help for pensioners or return to the triple lock, pledged at the last election.

“Pay in for 50 years for what. Would you work for less than £800 a month? I think not.”

Username Puckertoe simply said: “Nasty party living up to its name.”

And username jascat said: “He had a last chance of making peace with old age pensioners by restoring the triple lock guaranteed at the last election

“Unfortunately, he did not and so will incur our wrath at the next election.”

Referring to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s promise to cut the income tax base rate before the next election, jascat added: “He may think that a last-minute boost before then will save the Conservative party. We are not so stupid to fall for that ruse.

“It is some time before the next election, but revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Others poked holes in the statement, saying the plans proposed would make little real-cost impacts on hard-hit families.

Referring to the fuel duty cut, username Pcguru wrote: “5p reduction per litre? Doing the public a great favour?

“A couple of months ago, fuel at pumps was roughly £1.20 per litre, of which 20p was VAT.

“It’s now around £1.80 per litre – VAT on that is 30p. Nice windfall tax. Thanks for nothing, Rishi.”

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And username mathmagician wrote: “Falls way, way short of the mark. My family is ok, but I fail to see how this will help the hard up.”

Mr Sunak was forced to defend his Budget on Thursday morning as criticism poured in from all sides.

The Office for Budget Responsibility said further inflation hikes are expected to cause “the biggest fall in living standards in any single financial year since records began in 1956-57”.

The Resolution Foundation, a living standards think tank, warned the lack of support for low-income families in the Spring Statement leaves 1.3 million people – including 500,000 children – on the verge of “absolute poverty”.

And the Institute for Fiscal Studies said “the biggest omission” from the spring statement was “anything for those subsisting on means-tested benefits”, including pensioners, who will be facing cost of living increases of about 10 percent “but their benefits will rise by just 3.1 percent”.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, Mr Sunak said the UK was recovering from the shock of the pandemic, and he was doing all he could.

He said he knows people are struggling, which is “why I announced a tax plan which delivers the biggest net cut in personal taxes in over a quarter of a century”.

Mr Sunak said: “I’m cutting fuel duty at 5p a litre, raising national insurance thresholds, giving 30 million workers a tax saving of £300 and cutting income tax for the first time.”

He added that people should “judge me by my actions”, including the measures he took during the pandemic.

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