Commenting on the speech, in which he claimed previous governments 'haven't had the guts' to tackle big issues in our economy and society, Katie Schmuecker, Deputy Director of Policy & Partnerships at JRF said:
“The Prime Minister has not had the guts to look the millions of people whose incomes are being cut today in the eye and tell them how they are expected to get through the year ahead.
“The Prime Minister’s attempt to strike an upbeat tone is completely at odds with the despair people are feeling and the cost-of-living crisis we are now facing. He has chosen to cut £20 a week from the incomes of millions including many who are in work as well as those who cannot work due to sickness, disability or caring responsibilities. Promises of a ‘high wage, high skill economy’ that will take years to reach will offer no comfort to families whose incomes have been cut, and the Government knows this.
“It is a sign of profound disrespect that he did not even acknowledge the struggle people across the country on low incomes are facing on the very day that the biggest ever cut to social security comes into force.”