Will Rishi Sunak’s spring declaration budget really help the most disadvantaged?

British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak speaks at a statement on the economic update session of the House of Commons in London, UK on 23 March 2022. The British Parliament / Jessica Taylor / Handout via REUTER'S NOTE EDITORS - THIS PICTURE IS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.  MANDATORY CREDIT.  THE PICTURE MUST NOT BE CHANGED.

‘People are not happy’: Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget promised to help with the life crisis – but with minor savings for most and no support for the energy bill, it has been widely criticized for not going far enough (Photo: Reuters)

As an energy price rise threatens, the chancellor says his mini-budget will ‘put extra pounds in people’s pockets at a difficult time’.

Metro Money columnist Andy Webb, founder of Be Clever With Your Cash, sits down with the Chancellor to discuss the Spring Declaration.

The email arrived late on Thursday. Topic: ‘Rishi Sunak – Potential Podcast Guest’. Would I like to interview the Chancellor on my Cash Chats podcast to discuss the Spring Declaration?

The answer, of course, was yes. This would be a coup for my program and my listeners. It was agreed that I would get ten minutes the day after he outlined his mini-budget for Parliament.

It was difficult to plan this interview before the political announcements were made.

Perhaps naively, I thought that the fact that he reached out to an audience with a focus on household economics meant that we would get something meaty to help in the cost of living crisis.

As I’m sure you know by now, that did not really happen. Although the 5p reduction in the petrol tax (6p when you include VAT) will cost £ 2.4 billion, at the individual level it is only £ 2 or £ 3 in rebates per liter. tank.

Raising the National Insurance threshold was sold as a tax cut of £ 330, but most of those eligible will receive far less and those earning less than £ 9,880 a year will not benefit from it at all.

People are not happy. I asked the Chancellor if he was disappointed with the reaction. ‘I do not expect anyone to ever say that you have done enough,’ he said, adding that the plans he announced ‘will really help people and put extra pounds in their pocket at a difficult time’.

Without anyone announcing extra measures to support the energy bill, was the work done when it came to energy, as far as the Ministry of Finance is concerned?

It seems that way. Referring to next month’s tax rebate of £ 150 and the reduction of the bill of £ 200 in October (we disagreed on whether this was a loan or not), the Chancellor told me: ‘Maybe it’s a disadvantage to try to advertise things before they actually happen and people forget so little about what you’ve already announced. ‘ Clearly, the government believes it has done enough.

We talked more, including how those, like him, in the fortunate position of being able to afford extra costs, can relate to those faced with the choice between heating or dining. ‘Judge me by my actions’ was the mantra. I’m sure we do.

As our chat neared its end, Rishi insisted that those with the lowest incomes would feel the benefit of Wednesday’s announcement, especially in combination with changes he introduced last fall.

‘A single mother of two renting children working full time at National Living Wage … will get £ 1,600 better off as a result of all these policies.’

With that, my time was over and the Chancellor finished his last answer, hitting ten minutes to the second.

There was no time left to figure out what a non-crisis Rishi Sunak would look like (the announced income tax cut for 2024 gives us a hint) where he draws the line of who he can help with the cost of living crisis or where the government expects , that people go if the offered support is not enough.

Hopefully I get another crack at asking these questions and more.

Listen to Andy’s full interview with Rishi on Andy’s Cash Cash’s podcast, via podcast app or via podfollow.com/cashchats

Do you feel the squeeze?

What is your experience of the cost of living crisis? Are you one of those mothers that Rishi Sunak claims will have £ 1,600 better off? Is that how you feel? Let us know. Email money@metro.co.uk.

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