'Not fair for top earners to support the majority,' whines '30p Lee' Anderson amid row over 'something for nothing Britain'

23 January 2023, 12:58

The MP previously sparked controversy after he used his staffer of an example of someone who can live off £30k in London
The MP previously sparked controversy after he used his staffer of an example of someone who can live off £30k in London. Picture: Alamy/Twitter
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Tory MP Lee Anderson has sparked controversy after suggesting it is not fair that over half of British households get more benefits than they pay in tax.

Around 36million people live in households that get more from the government than they pay in tax, according to a new report by Civitas.

The estimates, based off ONS data from 2020-21, include the amount of individuals that receive "benefits in kind", including use of the NHS, state education and pensions.

It does not, however, include the furlough scheme.

Mr Anderson, who was dubbed "30p Lee" for past comments that people could get by eating very low-price meals, said it is "just not fair" that over half of households in Britain get more government benefits than they pay in tax.

He said: "Over half the households in Britain get more from the state than they pay in tax...while the top 10% of earners account for 53% of all income tax.

"We cannot have less than 50% of the population supporting the majority. It's just not fair."

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The comments were met with furious backlash on Twitter, with journalist Leah Borromeo telling the MP: "You seem to hold most of your electorate in contempt and expect them to re-elect you."

Commentator Dominique Samuels added: "The gaslighting is insane. ‘Something for nothing’, your Party has completely destroyed our economy."

Another person replied: "Taxes don’t pay for public services. Stop demonising the least fortunate in society."

Mr Anderson's comments come just days after he controversially used his staffer as an example of a person who can get by living in London on less than £30,000 a year.

The MP shared a photo of his parliamentary researcher Katy as he said anyone earning more and using a food bank must have a budgeting problem.

But a Labour MP accused him of "harassing" the staffer, who appears in a photo on Twitter smiling at her desk.

Mr Anderson, who was dubbed "30p Lee" for past comments that people could get by eating very low-price meals, wrote with the photo on Twitter: "Katy works for me.

"She is single & earns less than 30k, rents a room for £775pcm in Central London, has student debt, £120 a month on travelling to work saves money every month, goes on foreign holidays & does not need to use a foodbank.

"Katy makes my point really well."

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