Simon Clarke, chief secretary to the Treasury, tells BBC: ‘The idea that this is somehow just a British problem is fundamentally wrong’
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The Child Poverty Action Group has also criticised the new household support fund (see 8.54am) as inadequate. This is from its chief executive, Alison Garnham.
Ministers are right to worry about low-income families, but now isn’t the time for stop-gap measures. Grants offer no stability to millions of struggling households, and will leave far too many out of pocket when the £20 universal credit cut hits. Investment in local support is necessary and welcome – but unless government drops the £20 cut, families will still face a living standards crisis this winter and beyond.
Sir Keir Starmer was interviewed on the Today programme this morning only a few minutes after Simon Clarke, the Treasury minister, and he was asked why Labour is not explicitly saying that Brexit is to blame for the HGV driver shortage.
Starmer said it was a factor, but he mostly criticised the government for not planning for this. He replied:
Well, it’s certainly a contributing factor. Whether you voted to leave or remain, it was obvious that if we were to leave the EU, we would have less HGV drivers than we would otherwise have.
I think the British public should be angry and frustrated. This is a total lack of planning. It was predicted, and it was predictable, and for five years we’ve known that we’re leaving the EU and the government’s got to a position where we haven’t got an answer.