“Not a Huge Salary” – Chancellor Attracts Criticism With Wages Comments

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt doubled down on his assertion that £100,000 a year is ‘not a huge salary’ in South West Surrey, leading to a barrage of criticism who accused him of being out of touch. Here’s the full story.

Quiet Week

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The Conservatives were probably hoping for a quiet week following a series of scandals that have rarely been out of the news. 

Get Down to Business

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Following a racism scandal involving one of their primary donors, the loss of MP Lee Anderson to Reform UK, and the continued onslaught of bad economic news, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his government were no doubt hoping for a week during which they could concentrate on the business of almost running the country. 

“Not a Huge Salary”

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Enter Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who, in a recent post on X, formerly Twitter, sparked controversy by asserting that an annual salary of £100,000 is “not a huge salary,” particularly in his affluent Surrey constituency.

Not Done

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Despite criticisms being launched thick and fast that the Chancellor was out of touch with regular people, many of whom would presumably dream of an annual salary of £100,000 a year, Hunt was not finished.

“Doesn’t Go As Far As You Might Think”

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When asked if he regretted the post on Sky News’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips show, Hunt doubled down, stating, “What sounds like a large salary – when you have house prices averaging around £670,000 in my area and you’ve got a mortgage and childcare costs – it doesn’t go as far as you might think.

If, Not When

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He continued, “We weren’t able to afford to fund childcare for people on the higher salaries, but I was simply saying that’s something I’d love to be able to look at in the next parliament.”


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Following the Chancellor’s statement, it is important to remember that, according to the Office for National Statistics, the average salary for a full-time worker in the UK was £34,963 as of April 2023.

Further Questions

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Hunt’s troubles were not over, as he was further grilled over his statement during an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.

“A Very High Salary”

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During the interview, Hunt emphasised individuals’ financial strain, noting, “Even on what most people would consider is a very high salary, it does not go as far as you think because of taxes, housing costs and childcare.” 

It’s Ukraine’s Fault

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Despite acknowledging the pressure felt by many, he rejected the notion that the cost-of-living crisis has ended, citing ongoing challenges exacerbated by factors such as the invasion of Ukraine. 

“Stick to the Course”

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Hunt urged the UK to persevere, emphasising the need to “stick to the course” as interest and mortgage rates have yet to decline.

Economic and Regular Reality

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Opposition figures swiftly criticised Hunt’s remarks, portraying them as evidence of detachment from economic and regular reality. 

“Dream of Earning That”

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Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth condemned Hunt’s statement, arguing, “The overwhelming majority of working people in this country would dream of earning that, yet they are all being made to pay the price of 14 years of Tory failure.”

“Kamikaze Budget”

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He continued, “It is staggering for the Chancellor to complain about mortgage costs when it was the Conservatives who crashed the economy with their kamikaze budget and sent mortgage costs through the roof. Only a Labour government will stand up for working people and tackle the cost of living crisis.”

Perception vs Reality

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Surrey councillors in Hunt’s current constituency also contributed criticisms, underscoring the disparity between Hunt’s perception and constituents’ reality. 

“Way Beyond”

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Councillor Robert Evans emphasised that £100,000 is “way beyond the salary of the people I represent”.

“Families Are Really Struggling”

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He continued, “In Spelthorne, the average gross household income is £44,000, and many survive on much less. Under this government and after Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous budget, mortgage rates have shot up, so many families are really struggling to make ends meet.”

£14 Million

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Hunt is particularly vulnerable to such criticism, seeing as before entering parliament, he was independently wealthy, earning £14 million from the sale of his education business. 

Pay Rise

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This latest misstep by Hunt also comes shortly after it was announced that MPs would receive a pay rise of around £5,000.

Millionaire Ministers

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Chancellor Hunt’s views on how people would judge the value of £100,000 is a look behind the curtain of a government with many ministers who are millionaires, including Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister. 

Cost of Living Crisis

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Serious questions have begun to be asked about the suitability of such politicians to truly judge what real life is like during the cost of living crisis when many people in the UK have never even seen £100,000. 

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The post Not a Huge Salary” – Chancellor Attracts Criticism With Wages Comments first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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