‘The forgotten millions’: how the papers covered Rishi Sunak’s spring statement

Rishi Sunak’s attempt to cast himself as a tax-cutting chancellor despite Britain facing the biggest drop in living standards since the 1950s is met with scorn on the front of many of Thursday’s papers.

The normally pro-government 表达 has a surprisingly punchy splash headline saying “The forgotten millions say: what about us?” as it reports that millions of Britons have been “left without a helping hand” by Sunak’s mini-budget.

监护人 lead is “Cost of living surges: and Sunak squeezes poorest”, saying that better-off workers will benefit most from the chancellor’s cut in petrol duty while ignoring the case for help to cut energy bills to help poorer households.

Telegraph’s front page states the situation very bluntly with the analysis of the Office for Budget Responsibility – “‘The biggest fall in living standards on record’” – and reports on the unease of many Tory MPs at Sunak’s failure to take their advice and scrap the national insurance increases.

One of the paper’s columnists, Allister Heath, Sunak has made the wrong choice by going ahead with national insurance increases and says failing to tackle the cost of living crisis “will be catastrophic, appalling, and could destroy the Conservative party and its reputation for economic competence for a generation”.

邮件 has a different spin on the Tory reaction and has the headline “Now slash taxes even further”, claiming that Tory MPs want more tax cuts to ease the pain on households.

金融时报 makes more of the fact that by proceeding with the NI rise in the face of backbench opposition, Sunak is trying to give himself room to cut income taxes before the next general election. “Sunak banks windfall for pre-election tax cut as cost of living crisis hits home” its splash says.

镜子 goes with “Thanks for nothing”, saying on its front page that there was “nothing for energy bills, nothing for pensioners, and nothing to stop worst fall in living standards since the 50s”.

Inside it lists 13 cost of living blows that Sunak has not addressed, from energy bills to mortgage rates.

时代 has a similar headline with “Biggest fall in living standards since 1950s”, 而 i says much the same: “Biggest hit to living standards since age of rationing”.

地铁 says “No heat to eat”, and reaches even further back into history to report that the tax burden is now the highest it’s been since the 1940s.

The reaction of regional titles is much more pointed with the Northern Echo asking “Is that it?” despite its call for more action to ease the cost of living crisis. “Sunak told he must do more for millions facing poverty” says the Yorkshire Post.

Herald in Scotland has a more upbeat line however, reporting “Sunak pledges tax break to two million Scots workers”.

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