Boris gives another masterclass on misinformation
A day after police handed out twenty fines for Downing Street lockdown party breaches – which Boris Johnson claimed he knew nothing about, and does not have attend – the prime minister was back at the PMQ no doubt emboldened to continue his string of lies and half-truths.
Here are some of Wednesday’s top false claims:
“There are 1.3 million fewer in absolute poverty” thanks to his government
Rishi Sunak’s mini-budget will actually push 1.3 million people into absolute poverty, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank, after the spring declaration failed to offer support for low-income households.
Britain is heading for its biggest drop in living standards since the 1950s this year, with the double whammy of the soaring cost of living and tax hikes in April.
The Resolution Foundation said low- and middle-income families will be “painfully exposed” to poverty over the coming year, with half a million children affected.
Johnson claimed he and Sunak were ‘tax-cutting conservatives’
The pair has actually increased the UK’s tax burden to its highest level since the 1950s over the past two years.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank has described the chancellor as a ‘fiscal illusionist’, after experts calculated his spring mini-budget would raise taxes on Britons to their highest levels since Clement Attlee.
“They want to raise taxes, we want to lower taxes, and that’s what we’re doing”
Johnson claimed his government had announced the biggest personal tax cut in decades, but Keir Starmer accurately quoted a calculation of the Office of Budget Responsibilitywho estimated that the budget will return £1 to the public for every £6 of higher taxes already announced by Sunak.
In just two years, the current Chancellor has announced tax hikes of a similar magnitude to those seen under Gordon Brown.
The Institute for Tax Studies noted “Given that Mr. Brown’s tenure in the Treasury has spanned almost a decade, the annual rate of tax increases announced under the current administration is significantly higher.”
Keir Starmer would bring Britain back to the EU
With his back to the wall, Johnson claimed the Labor leader would like to bring Britain back into the EU.
In February this year, Starmer ruled out any prospect of Labor granting another Brexit referendum.
“We have left the EU and we will not be going back – let me be very clear in the northeast about this. There is no reason to join,” he told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“What I want to see now is not just Brexit done in the sense that we’re technically out of the EU, I want to make it work. I want to make sure we take advantage of the opportunities and we have a clear plan for Brexit.
At recent PMQs, Johnson repeatedly claimed that Starmer had voted 48 times to bring the UK back into the European Union.
It is also false. Most of those votes took place before Britain left the EU and were not about whether Britain should actually be part of the bloc.
It is true that Starmer often opposed the government in Brexit votes, but it is also true that he voted in favor of Brexit.