Labour calls Jeremy Hunt 'desperately out of touch' after Chancellor says £100,000 is 'not a huge salary'

23 March 2024, 09:30

Jeremy Hunt has been criticised by Labour's Jonathan Ashworth
Jeremy Hunt has been criticised by Labour's Jonathan Ashworth. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Labour has called Jeremy Hunt "desperately out of touch" for claiming that £100,000 is not a big salary.

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Mr Hunt made the remark on Twitter, about calls he had been making to residents during constituency work.

Labour said Mr Hunt's comments showed that the government was "desperately out of touch" with the lives of ordinary people.

In a post about constituency phone calls, the Chancellor had said: "I spoke to a lady from Godalming about eligibility for the government's childcare offer which is not available if one parent is earning over £100k.

"That is an issue I would really like to sort out after the next election as I am aware that it is not huge salary in our area if you have a mortgage to pay."

Read more: Jeremy Hunt told James Dyson that he 'should try being an MP himself' during 'awful' meeting

Read more: Next five years will be ‘most difficult period’ for a parliament 'since Second World War', IFS warns

Matthew Wright on Jeremy Hunt's claim that £100,000 is 'not huge'

The UK's median gross annual salary for full-time employees was £34,963 in April 2023, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth said: "The Chancellor has again revealed how desperately out of touch the Tories are with working people when he claims someone earning £100,000 a year is not a 'huge salary'.

"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.

"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.

Jeremy Hunt
Jeremy Hunt. Picture: Alamy

"Only a Labour government will stand up for working people and tackle the cost-of-living crisis."

Surrey county councillor Paul Follows, who is set to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate against Mr Hunt in the seat of Godalming and Ash at the general election, said: "Perhaps this is the case when you are a multi-millionaire who can funnel £100,000-plus into his own campaign without breaking a sweat - but it's a great deal more than the national or local average and a massive indicator as to why the cost-of-living crisis impacting residents across the country seems to have missed him totally."

Mr Hunt announced in his Budget an increase in the threshold at which the high-income child benefit charge starts from £50,000 to £60,000 from April.

Jonathan Ashworth
Jonathan Ashworth. Picture: Alamy

He also announced that partial child benefit would be paid where the highest earner earns up to £80,000.

Working parents can receive free childcare for youngsters aged three and four.

To qualify, the majority must earn more than £8,670, but less than £100,000 per year under current rules.

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