‘Get new job’ or cut back, Tory chair tells struggling Britons

Brits struggling with rising bills should try to get a better-paying job or cut spending, Conservative Party leader Jake Berry has said.

The senior Tory figure was grilled over the government’s economic strategy by Liz Truss amid growing concerns about the impact of borrowing tax cuts, which benefit the wealthy the most.

“People know when they get their bills they can either cut down on their consumption or get higher salaries or higher wages and go out and get this new job,” he told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.

Mr Berry added: “That is the approach the government is taking to creating growth.”

Union general secretary Christina McAnea said the comments showed the government “lives on another planet,” adding: “If more key workers heed the government’s advice, soon there will be no one running our hospitals, schools and nursing homes.”

Among those condemning the comments, Rachel Clarke, a palliative care practitioner, tweeted, “Naked cruelty from Conservative leader Jake Berry today.”

The Tory leader claimed Ms Truss has had an “absolute mandate” to implement her radical new economic policies since the 2019 election.

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“[The 2019 manifesto] We made a commitment not to raise taxes, and we actually did that by reversing the Social Security increase. It was stipulated that we would work towards creating economic growth and that is what the Prime Minister is doing,” he said.

Mr Berry also dismissed the idea of ​​Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng discussing future plans with hedge fund managers at a champagne event held after the mini-budget, saying attendees at the event should be “praised”.

The Tory leader confirmed he had also attended the post-budget drinks event but said it was for Tory donors and “Britain’s business leaders”.

When asked what Mr Kwarteng had said, he told Sky News: “I certainly didn’t hear him make those comments. I was there so I listened to what he was saying and what he was talking about was his plan for growth.”

He added: “I can categorically rule that out in relation to the address he addressed to the group of people as part of this normal treasurer’s event. He has not revealed any future plans and I’m sure he hasn’t given any in regards to his private talks.”

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Mr Berry also warned that Tory MPs who vote against the Government’s plan for tax cuts would lose the party whip. Some Tory MPs are considering voting with Labor to stop mini-budget measures – notably the scrapping of the 45p top tax rate.

Asked by Sky News if that would see them lose the whip and be suspended, Mr Berry said “yes” – before urging desperate MPs to unite behind Ms Truss.

“I’m sure if we do that, it will ultimately lead to long-term electoral success,” he said.

In recent polls, he shrugged off major Labor leaders, saying they would look “very different” closer to the election, most likely in 2024.

The Tory leader also claimed it was “nonsense” to say the tax cuts will help the rich the most. Mr Berry showed a graphic from the Resolution Foundation showing that higher earners benefited most from the government’s plans and said he could not see the picture.

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“I would go back and say what we’re doing for every household in this country is making sure they get a cut on their tax bill next month,” he told Sky News.

Mr Berry did not rule out significant spending cuts but declined to refer to specific policies. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that the public sector should look at its spending the way every single household in this country does.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg was loudly booed by hundreds of protesters in Birmingham as the Tory conference got underway in the city, with some shouting “Tory scum”.

Protesters angry at Ms Truss’ economic plan carried signs reading ‘unelected, unaccountable, out of joint’ and ‘wages up, bills down, tories out’.

Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said Ms Truss failed to understand the “anxiety and fear” of people facing huge hikes in their mortgage repayments and accused the Prime Minister and Chancellor of running a “crazy experiment” with the economy to have.