Tory MP David Morris admitted the crisis is ‘very, very reminiscent’ of winter 1978 as Labour calculated the astronomical cost of the perfect storm for families
A Tory MP warned of a “winter of discontent” today as Labour claimed some families face being £1,758 worse off per year by next summer.
David Morris admitted soaring gas prices and panic-buying of petrol were “very, very reminiscent” of winter 1978, when blizzards and strikes brought the country to its knees.
The 55-year-old MP told the BBC’s Sunday Politics North West: “I can remember the winter of discontent and I remember what was building up to it and this to me feels very, very reminiscent.
“I’m hoping that doesn’t happen.
“We are now starting to drill down into why the shortages at the pump, a lot of it is panic buying, I’ve been speaking to friends who actually are in the haulage industry, we have lots of hauliers around here.
“There is a shortage of drivers, there has been a shortage of drivers for ten years.
“The Government is stepping up to try and get people trained quicker but the big problem is, it’s ok training a driver, the experience factor is what actually makes the driver.”
It comes as Labour analysis claims a single parent of two children, working full-time on £31,000 and renting privately, could expect to be £1,758 a year worse off from next April due to a blizzard of changes.
The biggest change is to Universal Credit, which is being cut by £1,040 a year from October 13. Assuming the single parent claims UC, their final award could be £6,111 after the cut, Labour said.
The party claims such a parent will pay £2,859 in National Insurance, a rise of more than £200, when the rate rises from 12% to 13.25% next April.
Labour also says that parent will pay £3,778 in Income Tax, which could have been lower if the £12,570 personal allowance had not been frozen.
The parent could also have been better off if their wages had risen, but most public sector wages apart from the NHS are being frozen next April, Labour said.
Put together, all these policies would leave that single parent £1,441 a year worse off, Labour calculated – with a final net income of £32,829.
But energy bills will then rise on top – with the cap on bills rising by £139 on October 1, and then likely by an unknown amount in Spring 2022.
Experts have claimed the Spring rise could amount to between £178 and £294 per year.
Labour took the lower figure, £178, and ended up with a figure of families being £1,758 a year worse off.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: “Working people in Britain are facing a perfect storm created by this Government which will see the average family nearly £2,000 a year worse off. Labour is on the side of working families, while the Conservatives are making their lives harder.
“It is not too late for the Government to change course, cancel their cut to Universal Credit and back struggling families this winter. Labour would maintain the uplift and replace Universal Credit.”
Earlier top Tory Grant Shapps bungled his maths while defending the Universal Credit cut.
The Transport Secretary repeatedly said ministers would have to put “several pennies” on Income Tax to reverse the £20-a-week cut.
But figures suggest Income Tax would have to rise by a penny or less – and even then only if ministers did not source the money from elsewhere. It’s been said that keeping the £20-a-week UC uplift would cost around £5-6billion a year. Putting an extra penny on income tax could raise around £6-7billion a year, the IFS said in 2019.
A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “When every Labour government has left office with unemployment lower than it was when they first came into power we’ll take no lessons from Keir Starmer ’s Labour Party who have no plan for our welfare system.
“Under the Conservatives employment is rising following the pandemic, the National Living Wage has increased and we are helping people into high-skilled, high-paid jobs and cutting long term employment so more people can benefit from the security of a job.”