Boris Johnson accused of presiding over “Tory poverty pandemic”

Boris Johnson has been accused of presiding over a “Tory poverty pandemic” as workers face rising prices and rising taxes under his government.

Ian Blackford said families need more than just a winter plan for covid, “they need a winter action plan to fight a Tory poverty pandemic that is only going to get worse.”

At Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons the SNP Westminster leader and Labour’s Keir Starmer focused on how rising National Insurance and cuts to Universal Credit would impoverish working people.

Blackford asked: “How much will Tory Government cuts to social welfare will cost the average nurse?”

The Prime Minister hit back: “What we are doing is protecting people on low incomes up and down the country.

“We are freezing fuel duty, supporting childcare and of course by the huge package of measures that we’ve brought in, not least the living wage… which is already seeing an increase of £4,000 for every family on the living wage.”

Keir Starmer highlighted how nurses, supermarket workers and teaching assistants stand to lose more than £1,000 each under the Government’s Universal Credit cut.

The Labour leader highlighted how a single parent on the minimum wage, already working full time, would need to work over nine hours a week on top of their full-time job just to get the money back that the £20 cut in Universal Credit the Prime Minister is taking away from them.

Starmer asked: “Why is the Prime Minister making a bad situation worse for working people by hammering them with a cut to UC and a tax rise?”

He added: “At the same time the Prime Minister wasted billions on crony contracts, cut taxes for people buying second homes and handed out super-tax deductions for the biggest companies.

“That’s not taking difficult decisions, that’s making political choices.

“So why is the Prime Minister choosing to take a tax system that is already loaded against working people and making it even more unfair?”

Johnson replied that the UK had the highest growth rate of the G7

To call and response cheers from the Tory backbenchers he added: “Where is employment? Up. Where are job vacancies at the highest level? Up. As for wages – they are up, higher than they were before the pandemic.”

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