Cost of living crisis: Liverpool MP tells of elderly man who stopped heating home to pay to power wheelchair

MP Ian Byrne has berated the Government for creating issues of poverty in the world’s fifth richest economy.

Liverpool MP Ian Byrne has lambasted the Government over the ‘political choices’ that are having a detrimental impact on people’s lives.

Mr Byrne described on Tuesday how an elderly and disabled constituent is no longer heating his home so he can pay to power his wheelchair.

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“The people in charge of this country are making the political choices that created this situation in the world’s fifth richest economy,” the Labour MP for West Derby said.

Ian Byrne gives a speech at the Patchwork Foundation ceremony. Image: Patchwork Foundation

Mr Byrne’s revelations appeared on Twitter following the Prime Minister’s controversial appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain regarding the cost of living crisis.

Boris Johnson said on Tuesday, in his first interview in five years on the breakfast programme, that the support of around £350 to help people deal with soaring prices “isn’t going to be enough immediately to cover everybody’s costs”.

Mr Johnson warned that increasing government spending to prop up household finances could make inflation rise even faster.

What did the PM say about the cost of living crisis?

The Prime Minister was challenged by Susanna Reid about the case of a 77-year-old viewer called Elsie who has seen her energy bill soar and has been forced to cut down to one meal a day.

Susanna Reid explained that she spent the day travelling on buses to stay out of her home and keep her bills down.

Mr Johnson said “the 24-hour freedom bus pass was something that I actually introduced” and added that there are “plenty of things more that we are doing”.

He added: “What we want to do is make sure that we have people who are in particular hardship looked after by their councils, so we are putting much more money into local councils.

“We have the particular payments to help elderly people in particular with the cost of heating.”

The Prime Minister explained that there is a “global context” caused by a surge in energy prices which is hitting all aspects of the economy.

How did people react to his comments?

One furious commentator on Twitter said his response was "mind-blowing" while countless tweets said the comment demonstrated Mr Johnson’s lack of empathy for regular people.

Labour said his response shows "just how out of touch this narcissistic prime minister is".

Shadow work and pensions secretary Jon Ashworth said it is "utterly shameful" that people like Elsie are being forced to cut costs in that way.

He added: "This will be a year of hell for Britain’s retirees."

What did Boris Johnson say on rising energy bills and prices?

On energy, Mr Johnson said: “This country is in the insane position of having to take in, pipe in, electricity from France and elsewhere because we haven’t done enough to invest in our own security of energy and electricity.”

The Prime Minister faces calls to go further after the Government has set out a £9 billion package of loans to cut energy bills and council tax rebates.

He said: “I accept that those contributions from the taxpayer – because that’s what it is, taxpayers’ money – isn’t going to be enough immediately to cover everybody’s costs.”

However, Mr Johnson admitted: “There is more that we can do.

“But the crucial thing is to make sure we deal with the prices over the medium and long term.”

What were his comments on the windfall tax?

Mr Johnson warned that a windfall tax on energy firms would deter investment.

He rejected calls from Labour and the Liberal Democrats to impose a windfall tax on the huge profits of oil and gas companies.

His comments came as BP announced soaring underlying profits despite a hit from pulling out of its Russian business.

Under pressure from opposition politicians to impose a one-off levy on oil company profits, Mr Johnson said: “If you put a windfall tax on the energy companies, what that means is that you discourage them from making the investments that we want to see that will, in the end, keep energy prices lower for everybody.”