Rishi Sunak urged to slash VAT by GB News viewers as cost-of-living crisis bites

After today's inflation announcement, GB News viewers were asked: "What should Rishi Sunak do to alleviate the pressure on Brits in the cost-of-living crisis?"

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Rishi Sunak has been urged by GB News viewers to slash VAT, after it was announced this morning that inflation hit a 40-year high of nine percent in the year to April.

GB News viewers were asked in a social media poll what they thought the Chancellor should do to mitigate their falling purchasing power.

The wording of the Twitter question was: "What should Rishi Sunak do to alleviate the pressure on Brits in the cost-of-living crisis?"

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hosts a news conference in the Downing Street Briefing Room in London, Britain.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak hosts a news conference in the Downing Street Briefing Room in London, Britain.

Viewers were asked to pick one option from the following list: "Introduce a windfall tax"; "reverse the NI hike"; "slash VAT"; and "increase universal credit".

By far the most popular response to the poll was the option to "slash VAT", with 46.4 percent of the 6,898 voters suggesting the Chancellor should reduce the levy.

Reversing the hike in National Insurance followed in second place, with almost a quarter of viewers (24.6 percent) calling for a U-turn on the tax increase.

Close behind was the introduction of a windfall tax, something the Labour Party has suggested could be brought in for energy companies – 22.6 percent of viewers voted in favour of the policy idea.

GB News viewers were asked what policy the Chancellor should introduce to mitigate the pressure of the cost of living crisis, after it was announced inflation hit 9 percent in the year to April.
GB News viewers were asked what policy the Chancellor should introduce to mitigate the pressure of the cost of living crisis, after it was announced inflation hit 9 percent in the year to April.

In a distant fourth place, 6.5 percent of GB News viewers supported an increase in universal credit to help stymie spiralling household costs.

Charities, think tanks and opposition politicians said the Government needs to do more for the poorest households, who are being hit the worst under the crisis.

Households are struggling under the weight of prices that are increasing faster than at any point in more than a generation, data showed on Wednesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Prices Index inflation rose to nine percent in the year to April, up from an already high seven percent in March.

It was the fastest measured rate since records began in 1989, and the ONS estimates it was the highest since 1982.

A large portion of the rise was due to the price cap on energy bills, which was hiked by 54 percent for the average household at the start of April.

Grant Fitzner, chief economist at the ONS, said: “Inflation rose steeply in April, driven by the sharp climb in electricity and gas prices as the higher price cap came into effect.

“Around three-quarters of the increase in the annual rate this month came from utility bills.”

Mr Sunak warned that he could not “protect people completely” from the cost-of-living squeeze, but the Prime Minister promised to “look at all the measures that we need” to get people “through to the other side” of the inflation spike.