Huddersfield mum's plight after 'struggling to survive' amid rising costs

-Credit: (Image: ITV)
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

A mum confronted Rishi Sunak and Kier Starmer over the soaring cost of living and how she is struggling to survive despite working full time.

Paula, from Huddersfield, said she had worked since she was 15 but in recent years had seen her falling into debt as the cost of food and energy sky-rocketed.

She had found it difficult to 'make ends meet' in recent years even while working full time, and with her children having left home, she told last night's General Election debate between Sunak and Starmer on ITV.

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Paula said: "All I do is work to live. My food bill has nearly doubled. I’m in arrears with my bills. I spend my weekends batch cooking so I don’t have to turn on my oven in peak times.

"My savings are gone and I’m genuinely worried about my future. I don’t think you actually understand how this is for people like me, so what can you do about that?”

Mr Sunak spoke about the furlough scheme and about falling inflation in answer to Paula's question, saying: "I know how much of a strain the last few years have put on family finances. And that's why my priority has always been to do what I can to support you. That started with bold action, like the furlough scheme during the pandemic, and more recently, my clear plan to bring inflation back to normal."

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Mr Starmer claimed the Government had "lost control" of the economy and told Paula: "There'll be millions of people watching this who feel in a similar position to you that the cost of living is really bearing down on them with constant worry."

During the debate, Janet, from Telford, a cancer survivor, told the two politicians: "No one is brave enough to tell us the truth. The NHS is broken. Be honest, how long will it take to fix it?"

Janet said she had lost her cousin while waiting for treatment. Mr Starmer said: "You can see how angry I am that it's been broken. It's unforgivable what they'd done to the NHS."

Mr Sunak said that NHS waiting lists were going down, with Mr Starmer challenging him on the claim.