Single mums 'better off' amid cost-of-living crisis, senior Tory claims

The attorney general was jeered after suggesting single mothers were "better off" now than they were a year ago - despite the growing cost-of-living crisis.

The government is under growing pressure to support families struggling with skyrocketing energy bills and the highest levels of inflation seen for decades.

Research published on Monday revealed that one in seven adults live in homes where people have skipped meals, eaten smaller portions or gone hungry all day because they could not afford or access food.

Energy bills are also rising to never-before-seen levels after the price cap was raised by 54%, saddling people with a typical annual bill of £1,971 — an increase of £693.

Braverman claimed that a single mum with two kids and was renting a home was in fact "better off" now, despite the huge rise.

She began: "No one is going to sugar coat the reality that times are tough.

"Everyone is facing challenges when it comes to the cost of living, food prices are going up, energy bills are rising, that’s because of a variety of factors, inflation is rising not just in this country."

Read more: Boris Johnson unable to say how much energy bills have gone up in toe-curling interview

Suella Braverman claimed single mums are better off amid the cost of living crisis. (BBC)
Suella Braverman claimed single mums are better off amid the cost of living crisis. (BBC)

The government has been urged to do more to help everyday people with the rising costs, but

But when asked when the right time for the government to step in was, Braverman said: "We've already intervened."

"We’ve put forward a £22bn package particularly to help families on the lowest income through these challenges. Nothing is off the table and we are always going to be considering what we can do, whether it is raising the national living wage, whether it is the household support fund, whether it is the £150 rebate to help with energy bills, whether it is the cut and the freeze to fuel duty.

“These things all add up and thousands of pounds can be saved by the average family, a single mother on the national living wage, with two children, who is renting will actually be £1,600 better off this year compared to last year because of these cumulative changes."

Read more: Martin Lewis urges Brits to check energy bills for unfair hikes: 'Smells wrong to me'

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY MAY 12 File photo dated 13/08/17 of an aerial view of terraced houses in south west London. There is little evidence
Households across Britain are seeing huge price rises. (PA)

But she was forced to say: "Can I just finish, can I just finish,” as the audience met her claims with laughter and heckles.

Braverman continued: "The reality is that there are a massive package of measures designed to help those on the lowest incomes so that they can get through these difficult times. Would I love to do more, of course I would."

Once again, the crowd laughed at her as she again tried to continue.

"I’m a conservative because I want to keep more of your money in your pockets not the governments," Braverman added - as the audience continued to laugh and heckle her.

Watch: Rishi Sunak denies he's out of touch with cost of living crisis

The ONS revealed last month 40% of Brits are now struggling to pay their energy bills, and experts have warned that 1.3 million people will fall into absolute poverty in 2022/23 without more support.

The government has staunchly defended the action they have already taken the cost of living crisis —including the Treasury's £9bn package of support. In February, immediately after Ofgem hiked the price cap, Rishi Sunak announced:

  • A £150 council tax rebate for bands A-D; and

  • A £200 repayable discount off energy bills, clawed back from customers over the next five years in £40 instalments.

However, the scheme has been fiercely criticised - with consumer champion Martin Lewis describing it as a "loan-not-a-loan", and Labour accusing the chancellor of being a "loan shark".