Boris Johnson has been accused of “talking ‘b*****ks” by implying that a recent boost in the living wage will support those facing cuts to universal credit.
The video, created by lawyer and filmmaker Peter Stefanovic first shows a clip of the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg challenging the prime minister on the cuts which are to be made at a time in when energy bills and inflation are rising, which Johnson defends because the government “raised the living wage by the record amount. Another clip shows Johnson similarly saying the government increased the living wage by “a record amount”.
But challenging the claim, Stefanovic alleged that Johnson was telling “barefaced lies” and “talking complete bollocks”.
He said: “Using the government’s own figures, the living wage rose by 2.2 per cent in April this year compared to the previous year. But in April 2020, the rise was nearly three times larger at 6.2 per cent.
“And in 2019 the boost was almost 5 per cent. So in fact the most recent rise was the lowest increase in the national living wage since the policy was introduced.
“He’s once again talking complete b*****ks.”
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From 1st April 2021, the National Living Wage increased to £8.91 per hour as part of the budget. Also, the age requirement to be eligible for this program was lowered from 25-23 to 23. However, fact checking by Channel 4 has said that the claim that this was the “biggest” increase, which Johnson has made in numerous interviews is bogus.
Like Stefanovic, they said: “In fact, the most recent rise was the lowest increase in the National Living Wage since the policy was first introduced.”
As for universal credit cuts, the government has faced pressure to reverse a decision to remove the £20 uplift that was put in place during the pandemic. The government has said the uplift will be removed by October as it was always intended to be a “temporary measure” but charities and the Labour Party have warned it will cause people to face poverty. Angela Rayner called Dominic Raab and asked him to cancel the PMQs plans.
It is not the first time Stefanovic has been accused of Johnson lying. Another video by his debunks Johnson’s claims in parliament in the past two years. It has received 35.5 million views online in its first year.
It fact checks claims about the government’s record on emissions reductions, economic growth, nurses’ bursaries, hospital car parking, NHS spending, the Covid-19 track and trace app, and poverty in the UK. Susanna Reid encouraged GMB users to view it earlier this week.
Stefanovic’s new video has, at the time of writing, been viewed more than 390,000 times.
indy100 has contacted Downing Street for comment.