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BBC QT: Audience member slams ‘disgusting’ comments on cost of living crisis

Cost of living: People are ‘looking for answers’ says pollster

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BBC Question time was hosted by Fiona Bruce from Walsall.

She was joined on the panel by Tory MP Damian Green, Labour MP Louise Haigh, businessman Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, political correspondent Charlotte Ivers and screenwriter Jack Thorne.

The audience member in question asked the panel the first question of the night: “Families are truly struggling with the cost of living.

“We are being told this week to consider buying value products and to contain and manage our household budget.

“Are our politicians from all parties patronising, clueless or inhumane?”

Host Fiona Bruce confirmed she was referring to comments made by Mr Eustice on Sky News, where he said that families struggling should try to buy “some sort of value brands rather than own-branded products, that they can actually contain and manage their household budget”.

The audience member continued to express her frustration: “I just think it’s really demoralising.

“Everyone’s counting on every single pound, I would be interested to see how much savings these MPs have in their bank accounts and how they divide all their savings.

“I’m not telling them what to buy or what to purchase, you know I just think it’s a bit rude.

“It’s inhumane, there are people really struggling on the streets now and I’ve got friends and family who are really struggling, they haven’t got enough food to put on the table.

“And then they’re being told to go buy value items, I just think it’s disgusting if I’m honest.

“I was really shocked that he said that and was confident in how he delivered it.”

Former Secretary of State and Tory backbencher Damian Green attempted to defend his colleague: “He was saying that’s what people were doing, politicians shouldn’t tell people how to live their lives.

“The underlying point is a perfectly fair one, we are in the middle of a howling global economic crisis.

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“Inflation’s bad in this country, it’s bad in the EU, it’s bad in the US it’s about the same.

“The Government is trying to support people as much as possible, it’s spending £22billion on various support measures.”

He admitted that tough times lie ahead for many Brits, adding that these measures are “never enough” as “10 percent inflation is going to be very difficult”.

He concluded: “The light I think is the way we’ve come out of the pandemic where people were predicting that we would have 10 percent unemployment and in fact unemployment’s less than four percent.”

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