Politics

Rishi Sunak's post-Budget photo opps have not gone well at all

Always nice to know the man in charge of the public's money doesn't know how to make a card payment.

Sunak fills up a car with petrol after announcing a 5p cut to fuel duty. Image: HM Treasury/flickr

Rishi Sunak ended his spring statement by trumpeting the fact he’s responsible for the biggest personal tax cut in a generation – reminding many of his supposed leadership ambitions.

To burnish his credentials, Sunak set out on a media round – with disastrous results. A photo of him filling up a car while wearing a mic, abjectly failing to use contactless, and footage of him telling a reporter “we all have different breads in our house” all invited mockery.

Delivered as income for Brits faced the biggest drop since the 1950s, it was hoped Sunak’s Spring Statement would provide relief for millions struggling with the cost of living crisis.

He announced a 5p cut to fuel duty, and raised the National Insurance threshold by £3,000, but the Joseph Rowntree foundation estimated 600,000 people would be pulled into poverty as a result of the mini-budget.

In the hours after Sunak left the despatch box, he embarked on a media round to promote the economic measures.

Petrol

Fresh off the back of a 5p cut to fuel tax, Asda announced it would be cutting the price of petrol by 6p a litre. Eager to highlight the headline policy from the Spring Statement, Sunak tweeted a photo of himself at the pump, filling up a Kia Rio.

The billionaire chancellor reportedly put £30 of fuel in. Disclaimer: That’s not his car.

It appears he doesn’t know how to make contactless payments

In the hours after his statement, Sunak may have been hoping to be painted as a chancellor who does not recklessly spend money.

What he got was an image as a man who literally does not know how to spend money.

While trying to pay for a can of Coke, Sunak held his card not to the card reader, but to the barcode scanner.

‘We all have different breads in my house’

Asking politicians to name the price of everyday shop items is a trap as old as time. While mayor of London, Boris Johnson proudly admitted he didn’t know the price of milk.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Sunak was asked to name an item he’d noticed get more expensive. He said bread, and was asked which kind of bread he bought.

His reply: “It’s a Hovis kind of seeded thing. We have a whole range of different – we all have different breads in my house, a degree of healthiness between my wife, myself and my kids.”

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Rory Stewart: 'I assumed I'd die a heroic death in my early 30s'
Letter To My Younger Self

Rory Stewart: 'I assumed I'd die a heroic death in my early 30s'

How political cartoonists influenced both Churchill and Sunak's crushing election defeats
Politics

How political cartoonists influenced both Churchill and Sunak's crushing election defeats

Marginalised, sceptical and locked out of housing: Why young people didn't vote in the general election
Keir Starmer during the 2024 general election campaign
Democracy

Marginalised, sceptical and locked out of housing: Why young people didn't vote in the general election

What will be in King's Speech? Here's 5 things to look out for – from benefits to conversion therapy
King's speech

What will be in King's Speech? Here's 5 things to look out for – from benefits to conversion therapy

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know

Support our vendors with a subscription

For each subscription to the magazine, we’ll provide a vendor with a reusable water bottle, making it easier for them to access cold water on hot days.