Rishi Sunak Left Squirming Over Social Care Worker Who Can't Afford A Lightbulb

Rishi Sunak was grilled by the BBC's John Kay
Rishi Sunak was grilled by the BBC's John Kay

Rishi Sunak was grilled by the BBC's John Kay

Rishi Sunak was left squirming over the government’s economic record after being told about a social care worker who can’t afford a new lightbulb.

The prime minister was told his “fingerprints are all over this” as he struggled to explain what he is doing to help Nicky from Cornwall, who also has to use foodbanks to make ends meet.

Sunak was confronted with her plight as he was interviewed for BBC Breakfast.

Presenter John Kay told him: “Panorama heard from a lady called Nicky in Cornwall.

“She works as a carer, she’s on £10.50 an hour and her kitchen is in darkness this week. She can’t afford a lightbulb for the kitchen until her daughter gets paid next week - and she’s working in social care.

“It’s hard to believe that’s the UK in 2023 isn’t it? And you were the chancellor, you were chief secretary to the Treasury, now you’re prime minister - your fingerprints are all over this economy, aren’t they?”

Sunak replied: “I’m actually really proud that one of the decisions we made ...

Kay then interjected: “When you hear that somebody can’t afford a lightbulb?”

The PM responded: “I’m actually proud that one of the things we did after I became prime minister was make some difficult decisions elsewhere - for example, decided to tax the profits of the largest companies more, given the circumstances we’re in.”

The presenter than said: “But when you hear that somebody can’t afford a lightbulb ...”

A clearly-rattled Sunak replied: “If you’ll just let me explain what we’re trying to do to help. We’re using that money to help people in those circumstances. We’re actually putting more money into social care in particular.”

But Kay pointed out: “Nicky’s not feeling it in her life.”

Sunak said: “I want to make sure we are helping Nicky, and Nicky should know we’re putting billions more into social care everywhere and that that will help to make sure she can be well paid.

“We’re making sure that Nicky’s energy bill is taken care of by the government to the tune of about £1,500 - that’s really helpful for those on the lowest pay.”

Elsewhere in the same interview, Sunak also defended the tax cut handed to the well-off in last week’s Budget.

He said the decision to lift the cap on how much high-earners can put in their pension pots before paying extra tax would help to cut NHS waiting lists.