Activist Jack Monroe hits out at ‘tone-deaf, privileged’ Tory response to cost of living crisis

Jack Monroe discusses the cost of living crisis

Anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe has described the Conservative Party’s response to the cost of living crisis as “tone-deaf, privileged and disgusting”.

On Thursday (11 August), Boris Johnson met with energy companies to discuss soaring costs, as researchers at energy consultancy Auxilione predicted the energy price cap could rise to £4,400 by January 2023.

Following the meeting, Johnson announced no further help to households, before setting off on his second holiday in two weeks.

Jack Monroe appeared on LBC on Sunday (14 August), and said they hear “almost hourly” from people who are “terrified that they aren’t going to live through the winter”.

They said: “I’m seeing absolutely no solutions from either of the potential future prime ministers [Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak], and I think that Boris Johnson saying that he’s not going to do anything because it’s his last few days in office is disgusting.”

They slammed Johnson, Sunak and Truss’ “wait and see” approaches to the crisis, describing it as “the most tone-deaf, privileged thing they could possibly say”.

“For someone like Rishi Sunak, who has more money than the Queen, of course he can say, ‘oh let’s just wait and see how things pan out’, because things are going to pan out just fine for him,” Monroe continued.

“But he’s not in position, and not a single MP is in position to represent their own luxury, privileged beliefs, they’re there to represent their constituents and every single one of them – not just the ones who voted for them.”

Many of these constituents, Jack Monroe said, are “absolutely petrified” and “facing down the barrel of a catastrophe”.

They added that the cost of living crisis had not taken anyone by surprise, least of all politicians.

Monroe continued: “This cost of living crisis isn’t new, it’s not something that’s just suddenly smacked us round the face out of the blue… it’s the result of 12 years of austerity cuts by three consecutive Conservative governments.”

Discussing the cap increase predictions, Monroe accused energy companies of “taking us for fools”.

They said: “I understand they are a business, and businesses want to make profit, but that shouldn’t be their core and driving motive. They are not just a product, but also a service, and they’re a vital service.

“They are a service that people, millions of people in this country, now cannot afford at the prices they are asking.

“How can you justify millions and billions of pounds in bonuses and profit margins, when those millions and billions of pounds are literally paid for out of the pockets of people who are struggling to put food on the table, struggling to have any quality of life. It’s unconscionable.”