Politics

Budget 2021: Keir Starmer likens Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson to pickpockets ‘What you get is a con game’



But in a sharply worded response to the Budget, Sir Keir told the Standard the measures announced by the Chancellor would “only make things worse” for millions of families facing a cost of living crisis as inflation and energy bills soar and taxes rise in the spring.

“This country deserves better,” Sir Keir told the Standard. “But they’ll never get it under this Chancellor who gives with one hand — and then takes even more with the other.

“The truth is this: what you get with these two is a classic con game. It’s like one of those pickpocketing operations you see in crowded places.

“The Prime Minister is the front man — distracting people with his wild promises. All the while, his Chancellor dips his hand in their pocket.

“It all seems like fun and games. Until you walk away — and realise your wallet has been lifted.”

Having announced a 1.25 percentage points rise in National Insurance from April in a new £12 billion-a-year health and social care levy, the Chancellor and Prime Minister are keen to build up a war chest so they can cut taxes before the next election, expected in 2024.

But Sir Keir said the Government was loading taxes on working people to pay for what he said was the Government’s mishandling of the pandemic.

The Labour leader also criticised the Government over the economy’s performance, saying the UK had fallen behind other advanced nations, restricting the amount that could be spent on stretched public services.



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