The government’s chief legal adviser, Suella Braverman, was teased by the crowd at Question Time when she claimed that a single mother is doing better despite the deepening cost-of-living crisis
The Attorney General drew a roar of laughter from the Question Time audience after claiming that a single mother is better off than a year ago thanks to government aid packages.
Families have been hit hard by rising prices amid the livelihood crisis, leaving some Brits with a choice between heating their homes and feeding their children.
Earlier this month, the Bank of England warned that Britain is heading into recession with the bleakest economic outlook since the 1980s.
And on BBC Question Time, the audience erupted in fits of laughter when the government’s chief legal adviser, Suella Braverman, claimed government support was making some people better off than it was last year.
“No one is going to sugarcoat the reality that times are tough,” she began.
“Everyone faces challenges when it comes to the cost of living, food prices are going up, energy bills are going up, it’s due to a variety of factors, inflation isn’t just going up in this country.
“They are seeing similar patterns in the US and EU and we are also grappling with the fallout from Covid and the huge spending that we have rightly made to support the country through these difficult times.”
But when asked by presenter Fiona Bruce when was the right time for the government to help, she said it has already done so.
“We have already intervened,” she said.
“We have presented a £22 billion package to help those on the lowest income families in particular with these challenges. Nothing is off the table and we will always consider what we can do, whether it’s an increase in the national livelihood, whether it’s the budget support fund, whether it’s the £150 rebate to help with energy bills, whether it’s cutting and freezing fuel taxes.
“These things all add up and thousands of pounds can be saved by the average family, a single mother with two children earning the national living, who are actually £1,600 better off this year than last year’s cumulative changes.”
At this point there was mockery and comment from the audience.
“Can I just get it done, can I just get it done,” the attorney general said, and a surprised-looking Ms. Bruce responded to people’s claims that they were doing better: “Even with inflation up to 10%?”
But Ms Braverman continued: “The reality is that we take into account inflation and these changes.”
Ms Bruce said: “Wait people laugh when you say that Suella. I’m just wondering what your answer is?”
Ms Braverman replied: “The reality is there is a huge package of measures to help those on the lowest income bracket get through these difficult times. If I wanted to do more, of course I would.”
There were more heckles from the crowd as Ms. Braverman continued.
“I’m a conservative because I want to keep more of your money in your pockets, not governments,” the attorney general said, to more universal laughter.
And next to her sat the economist Miatta Fahnbulleh, who was anything but satisfied with the claim.
“They literally invent numbers,” she said.
“If you top up all the measures the government has taken, families are still £1,100 worse off on average so your numbers are literally made up.”