Cost of living: compare BBC verdict of Rishi Sunak interview with this commenter

Rishi Sunak and Nick Robinson: the former chancellor might have scored on rhetoric, but it seems he failed badly on factual accuracy.

Apparently Nick Robinson was supposed to be hosting a debate between Tory leadership candidates Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, but Sunak was the only one who turned up.

How lucky for him that he wasn’t interviewing for the role of village idiot – as the old Two Ronnies (I think) joke has it, he would have been disqualified.

My point, of course, is that his answers suggest he might as well be interviewing for such a role.

Let’s take a look at the BBC’s report of its own interview:

Rishi Sunak has said he would rather lose the Tory leadership race than “win on a false promise”.

In a BBC interview, the former chancellor said he would tell people what “they needed to hear” and stay “true” to his values.

He added the next PM had a “moral responsibility” to support poorer households with payments for energy bills.

And he said rival Liz Truss’s plan for tax cuts would not help the most needy.

He told the BBC’s Nick Robinson he would spend billions of pounds on further targeted payments to pensioners and those on low incomes.

The former chancellor said tax cuts would “not help the millions of people who don’t pay enough tax,” whilst his plan for winter payments would ensure support for those “that most need our help”.

He said it was too early to put a precise figure on the extra payments, or how much they would cost to deliver.

However, he suggested they would compensate for a projected £400 increase in bills compared to predictions earlier this year.

These extra payments would come on top of a £15bn package of payments he announced as chancellor in May.

Pushed on whether the extra payments would cost a “few billion” or more than £10bn, he replied: “It’s much closer to former than the latter.”

He said the “temporary” support would be made by increasing the scale of payments to pensioners and low-income households due in the autumn.

He said his plan to cut VAT on energy bills, announced earlier in the campaign, would ensure people of all incomes receive some help.

So he’d rather lose than win on a false promise, would he? What about a whole slew of inaccurate or uninformed statements?

That’s what a friend of This Site, on Facebook, suggested:

I listened, with a degree of analysis and bewilderment, to tonight’s next PM debate led by some fierce questioning by Nick Robinson. I thought this was a two horse race, but the second one couldn’t be bothered to turn up, that doesn’t bode well Liz Truss.

I listened and whilst he sounded reasonably cogent, his answers on almost everything simply didn’t add up. We are looking down the barrels of massive unaffordable energy bills, he referred vaguely to the £300 winter fuel payment as if it was new, Rishi, it’s been in place for years. He could not offer any explanation over border control, other than to say everyone coming here was illegal, sorry Rishi but we have a process of determining legality only once people have arrived on our shores, so zero points on that one.

He failed miserably on affordability, it was almost as if imposing cuts on energy bill vat was out of scope, there was nothing on how the energy firms’ profits need to be capped, infrastructure investment needs to be put on hold until you have ascertained customer affordability, a fat lot of good if hardly anyone can afford to pay these hugely unaffordable bills, another big fail Rishi. Closing Hinkley Point really didn’t help, would it not have made a whole lot more sense to have had the new one up and running first before shutting down the old? How much more are we paying for supplies from Russia as a result? Perhaps you’d like to include that info on the suppliers extortionate bills?

Sunak’s pledges to the most vulnerable were broken pie crust, almost pathetic I would say. Does he even know the applicable amount for a single person on basic benefit, not even £80 a week, how does that work out Rishi? Let’s do the maths, predicted energy bills of 4K a year from next January, That averages at £76.92 per week, how does that work out Rishi? Another fail I’d say.

Not a single mention of the housing crisis and unaffordability of extortionate private rental figures, that was a fail on the part of Nick R not not squeeze that one in. The reality is LA’s are paying extortionate amounts to keep people in hotels at around £500 + per week, who benefits from that?

There was so much else, much of it swept under the carpet, but I give credit to Sunak for at least turning up.

This is a person who used to work for Citizens Advice, and continues to help people on a freelance basis; he knows his stuff when it comes to the cost of living, what is affordable and what the poorest people need.

Who does This Writer believe, then – the BBC or my Facebook friend?

It’s not even a choice.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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