‘Out of touch’ Rishi Sunak ‘doesn’t have a clue’, says pensioner

Jonathan Ashworth calls for return of pension triple lock

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“Out of touch” Rishi Sunak “doesn’t have a clue” when it comes to problems facing the average person, a retired receptionist has said as she backed Express.co.uk’s pension triple lock petition. The triple lock is a government commitment to increase pensions in line with either average wage increases, 2.5 percent or inflation – whichever is the highest.

With inflation now pushing past 10 percent, Mr Sunak, who replaced Liz Truss as Prime Minister last month, is so far refusing to guarantee his Government will abide by the Tories’ own manifesto pledge to abide by the longstanding convention.

Express.co.uk’s petition, launched in conjunction with over-60s campaign group Silver Voices, has now passes the 50,000 mark.

Yvonne De Burgo, 77, from Oxfordshire, did not hold back in her assessment of the 42-year-old former Chancellor and MP for Richmond in Yorkshire.

Nobody with that amount of money has a clue of what it’s like to live on £250

Yvonne De Burgo

Mrs De Burgo gets roughly £250 a month comprising a normal state pension plus pension credit, which she says leave “not much for any extra expenses” at the end of the month.

By contrast Mr Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy are reputedly worth £730million, largely as a result of her one percent stake in Indian tech giant Infosys.

Mrs De Burgo said: “He doesn’t have a clue. I mean, nobody with that amount of money has a clue of what it’s like to live on £250, come on.

“They probably spend that on a meal for themselves.”

Referring to the circumstances in which Mr Sunak came into the job, she added: “They’ve had three bloody Prime Ministers, you know, who’s gonna be the fourth?

“I mean, it’s wrong, It’s all wrong. I hope if Labour or whatever party apart from the Conservatives gets in next time, they will change the rules – if a prime minister is kicked out, you have a general election.”

Meanwhile Mrs De Burgo admitted she is deeply concerned about the prospect of the coming winter, with fuel bills spiralling and no guarantees her income will be going up.

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“I’m being really good, I’m switching everything off at the wall and as soon as I do something that’s electrical switch off and so something I can’t do any more than what I’m doing.

“I’m sitting with one last night and it gets dark really early and the trouble is I’m really worried because if there’s a power cut like they’re talking about, my sight is very bad and that’s what they’ve told me at the hospital, because of my balance as well, I need to be well lit wherever I’m going.

”And I think ‘well that’s all very well for you to say mate, you’re not paying the bills I am.’”

She added: “Physically, I feel sick most of the time with worry but I’m that type of person where I can laugh and have a joke because if I didn’t, I’d go under.

“’I’m 77 for heaven’s sake. I want to have a relaxing calm life, not all this bloody hassle from the Government.”

Mr Sunak today told Cabinet members that the NHS would be “prioritised” amid “difficult decisions” on spending over the coming weeks, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister and his Chancellor are currently considering tax rises for millions of households and a squeeze on spending to address a black hole of up to £50 billion in the public finances.

According to a Downing Street read-out of today’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Sunak said that the Government “would always support the NHS and that they would continue to be prioritised as difficult decisions are taken on spending”.

The Cabinet meeting saw the Prime Minister and his top team discuss the NHS ahead of impending fresh pressures this winter.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “He said that in return it was right to look at further ways to improve the service the public receive and that he was confident this could be achieved.”

Meanwhile, a study published by the Resolution Foundation think tank, also today, suggests the new administration could save £9 billion by choosing not to raise benefits and pensions in line with rising prices next year.

It said any such move would have a “huge” impact on those struggling, with a low-income working family with two children losing around £750 and a pensioner £342.

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