Jeremy Hunt savaged for coffee cup inflation explainer ‘propaganda’
Jeremy Hunt explains why inflation is so high from a coffee shop
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been mocked after he tried to explain Britain’s inflation problem in a video on Twitter today. The Chancellor used buying a cup of coffee to illustrate how the cost of living is going up and what the Government is trying to do about it.
But the video has provoked the ire of some experts and opposition parties particularly Remainers who want to blame all of Britain’s problems on Brexit.
The Chancellor held up a cup marked £2.56 and said a year ago a coffee cost “around £2.50”, before holding up another with £2.86 on it, which he described as “nearly £3 a cup”.
Factors contributing to inflation which is “about 10 percent” – the latest figures for December put CPI inflation at 10.5 percent – included the supply chain squeeze after the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and persistently high energy prices.
High inflation means “unemployment going up, businesses failing, the pound in your pocket is worth less than it used to be”.
The Government’s aim to halve the inflation rate by the end of the year was listed as one of the “peoples (sic) priorities”.
It was, however, criticised over its punctuation, maths and the failure to mention Brexit, the huge amounts of money pumped into the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic or the impact of Liz Truss’s economic policies.
Politics professor Tim Bale, from Queen Mary University of London, said the video is “a classic of the genre”.
In a tweet, he added: “I especially loved last year’s cup of coffee, costing £2.56, being described ‘as around £2.50’ as opposed to this year’s, costing £2.86, being described as ‘nearly £3.00’. (PS while I’m on, ‘Peoples Priorities’ is missing an apostrophe).”
London School of Economics media professor Charlie Beckett said the Treasury-produced video is an example of the “Conservatives using public money to produce propaganda”.
Even a member of his own party, Tory former education secretary Kit Malthouse questioned the content of the message with the comment: “Money supply?”
University of Nottingham politics emeritus professor Steven Fielding sarcastically added: “I hope he recycled all those cups he wasted.”
Meanwhile, Opposition parties also waded in.
Liberal Democrat Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney said: “The last thing families need right now is a Mr Bean-esque video from the same clueless party that crashed the economy and sent mortgage bills spiralling.
“What’s even more shocking is that Jeremy Hunt airbrushed one of the main causes of economic pain – Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget that resulted in the biggest tax hike for a generation.”
An SNP spokesman said: “Households in Scotland are lucky if they are able to turn the heating on to keep warm, never mind buy a coffee, all because of the economic incompetence of this UK Tory Government.
“Jeremy Hunt failed to address the massive elephant in the room which is the lasting damage Brexit has done to the UK economy, with exports from Scotland dropping by £2 billion since we were dragged out of the EU.”
Other Twitter users appeared more enthusiastic – the video racked up more than 505 “likes” and 924 reTweets on the platform by around 1:20pm today.
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