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‘Helping the Rich’: The Small Budget Brings Fear and Anger to the Prime Minister’s Home Patch | Mini budget 2022


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an Main Street in the leafy suburb of Roundhay, where Les Truss She goes to school and her parents are still living, there is frustration, even anger, at the actions announced in the mini-budget on Friday.

Catherine Britten, a nanny, has had to negotiate with her power supplier, raising her bills from £109 a month to £350. She was able to agree to pay £200 until after Christmas.


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She said, “I can’t pay more. I’m worried about the cost of living and at the moment I haven’t passed that on to my parents, but I’m not sure how long I can keep up with it.”

Catherine Brittain, a local nanny filmed in Roundhay, Leeds
Concerned about the cost of living: Catherine Brittain, a nanny in Roundhay, Leeds. Photograph: Richard Saker/The Guardian

She needs to provide a warm home for the children she’s caring for, in addition to meals, and that comes at a cost.

“I am not a charity. I could get paid more but I get paid what I think is fair.”

Brittain is concerned about the ability of Truss – “the despicable man” – and her government to prevent a massive economic crisis and is skeptical of Chancellor Kwasi Quarting’s tax reforms.

Quarting Revealed a sudden reduction in income taxand eliminating the extra rate, which paid high earners 45% on any income over £150,000. It also introduced a planned 1% reduction in the base rate of income tax from 2024 to next year.

“They only help the wealthy and maybe a few crumbs will fall for us in the end.

“We need a windfall tax, otherwise we will pass this debt on to our children.”

Last month, Sade Scales’ monthly direct debit for gas and electricity rose from £65 to £89 overnight. It may not seem like much compared to what some people pay, but working as a part-time carer in Leeds while caring for a disabled child, any further heights will weigh them heavily.

“I have some credit in my energy account, but I had to cut back on expenses,” she said. “I think I will need extra money this winter because things are only going to get worse.”

I was frustrated that other countries, such as France, were largely insulated from higher energy prices due to government policies. In January, the French government limited price hikes from state-owned energy company EDF to 4%. It also made a one-time €100 (£84) payment last year to the poorest 5.8m families.

And Libra added, “It’s not our fault. It’s like, ‘Why are you taking it on us? There has to be a watershed’.”

Her friend Sandra Smith, a parent and caregiver, agreed.

Sad Skills and Sandra Smith
“It’s not our fault,” says Sad Skilles, left. She and her friend Santra Smith, right, provide care in Leeds. Photograph: Richard Saker/The Guardian

“A lot of my single friends aren’t feeling well. It’s a struggle, they live from month to month. I don’t have much confidence that anything is going to get better,” she said.

Smith was also disappointed to hear of plans to force universal credit claimants to work longer hours, as a former recipient knows how difficult it is to survive on what is being offered.

pronounced Kwarteng Claimants work less than 15 hours per week They will be punished if they are not seen as trying to get more work done, in an effort to “get Britain to work again”.

Smith said: “Global credit is the worst thing ever. All your money is tied together rather than being allocated to different things. When I used it I only had £300 left after paying rent and that doesn’t include the bills. It puts people at risk.”

It was a particularly strange announcement, she said, given that unemployment rates are at historic lows and most global credit recipients are working. Plus, she said, pushing claimants to take on more work is already happening.

“I spent 15 hours and they were pushing me to do 25. I actually wanted to work more but it was very difficult to get child care. They don’t help you. She said the whole system is disheartening.”

“You may need an advance to pay for something up front and they can only turn you down if they don’t feel the reason is satisfactory.”

Metrics added, “You can see why people are turning to crime. It’s fast money.”

Close to Leeds’ well-loved tourist attraction, Tropical World, an indoor wildlife park and aquarium, Kwarteng measures were equally unpopular.

Katie Fenton Green, a physical education teacher on maternity leave, echoed the sentiment on Main Street. “It hasn’t hit us yet but we are more worried than usual. I was looking for merino wool blankets for the baby.”

Katie Fenton Green, a PE teacher, with her daughter Nell, at Tropical World in Roundhay
Katie Fenton Green, a PE teacher, with her daughter Nell, at Tropical World in Roundhay. Photograph: Richard Saker/The Guardian

His wife works full time at ITV, which recently gave the employees a cost-of-living premium. But she is troubled by the lack of budgetary measures to tackle the profits of energy companies while people are suffering.

“I don’t feel the cost is justified while the companies are posting a profit. It would be understandable if the companies were struggling but they weren’t, and it seems that the government is only helping the well-off.”

Even those who expect to benefit from the mini-budget cannot fathom it.

Sam Smith with his daughter Mabel.
Sam Smith with his daughter Mabel. Photograph: Richard Saker/The Guardian

Sam Smith, an accountant and his partner, Tia McKeown, who works in digital marketing, would be better off given the advisor’s plans to scrap the increase in National Insurance payments.

“It kind of seems superfluous,” Smith said. “Most people don’t mind helping as much as we can and we are not people who are suffering. It is always the people who are most affected who are affected the most, although I don’t know what the other option is.”

This article has been modified on September 23, 2022. An earlier version stated that the energy price cap announced by Liz Truss earlier this month “only benefits those spending over £2,500 per year”. The price cap is a limit on the unit cost of electricity and gas, not on total bills; The figure of £2,500 per year relates to the average amount a typical family in Great Britain would pay under the new cap.