‘The up yours mini budget’: Newspapers savage Rishi Sunak’s spring statement


Rishi Sunak’s spring statement received a less-than-glowing response from Fleet Street’s headline writers on Wednesday night after the chancellor was criticised for failing to offer more help for poorer Britons facing a sharp fall in living standards.

Mr Sunak promised tax cuts for millions of workers to address soaring inflation and the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, but was accused of being “woefully out of touch with the reality facing millions of families” after he failed to announce an uprating of benefits.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said in the wake of Mr Sunak’s address to the Commons that “what really stands out today is what was missing” – notably help for the poorest households facing surging energy bills.

Many of Thursday’s newspaper front pages were equally scathing.

The Independent’s front page of its app edition highlights how the UK is facing its “biggest fall in living standards on record”, a detail also picked up on by The Daily Telegraph.

The Independent app edition’s front page on Thursday

(The Independent)

The i goes in on the same theme, but emphasises that standards are falling at the fastest rate since post-war rationing.

The Guardian’s headline reads: “Cost of living surges: and Sunak squeezes poorest.”

The Daily Star is, as ever, more blunt in its assessment, describing it as the “Up yours mini budget” which it says contained the “usual load of utter bull from a rich, insincere, smiling politician with nice teeth”.

The strapline jokes that the country should be “bloody well thankful” that everyone will be “worse off than the 1950s” and adds, with not-so-subtle sarcasm, that the cost of living crisis is “NOT the fault of absolutely anybody AT ALL in government”.

The Daily Express, usually supportive of Boris Johnson’s government, opts for the headline: “The forgotten millions say: what about us?”

The Metro highlights those who are struggling to pay for the energy to cook meals, saying simply: “No heat to eat,” with the strapline “Reality behind mini budget”.

The Daily Mirror tells the chancellor “thanks for nothing” as it highlights what it says is a lack of help to tackle soaring energy bills, and for “struggling pensioners”.

Business freesheet City Am calls the spring statement “Risky Rishi’s balancing act”.

The Sun demotes the story to second place behind a splash on Russia’s apparent bid to host the Euro 2028 football tournament, but finds space to sum up the chancellor’s announcement as “tax gain but still pain”.

The Daily Mail simply urges Mr Sunak to “slash taxes even further”.

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