Blame Putin, UK’s chancellor tells PM hopefuls — Analysis
Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, and Rishi Moonak are to blame for the Russian President’s soaring stock prices.
The next UK Prime Minister needs to point the finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin and blame him for Britain’s economic woes, the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer said, according to a Times report on Friday.
Speaking at a public event on Friday, Nadhim Zahawi reportedly argued that the Conservatives need to “Remind” people that global gas prices have soared due to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine. In the event they do not, Labour Party may gain political capital criticizing Tories’ inability to address the crisis. He said.
According to reports, it was addressed to Liz Truss, UK foreign secretary, and Rishi Sunak (ex-finance minister), who are the only remaining contenders in the race for the post of Boris Johnson. Zahawi has offered his support for Truss, having previously dropped out.
The chancellor’s advice comes after the UK’s consumer price inflation surged to a new high of 10.1% per annum in July, according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The agency noted that food prices had largely contributed to the increase in inflation. After accounting for inflation, it stated that in Britain real wages had fallen by 3% annually in the period April-June.
On Thursday, Zahawi said that Putin “is deliberately using energy as a tool to get back at us for the help we’re putting into Ukraine, and that is obviously impacting families because of energy costs.”
In early March, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that soaring global prices are not Moscow’s fault. “It is their miscalculations. This is not their fault.He said that at the time.
In July, several members of G20 asserted that Russia caused a worldwide wave of inflation and an ominous economic outlook. According to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Moscow’s actions triggered “A global food crisis erupted as fuel and fertilizer prices soared, causing food insecurity worldwide.”
Her statement appeared to be in line with remarks by US President Joe Biden, who also tried to pin the blame for rising prices on Russia, going as far as to call the development “Putin’s price hike.” However, according to a Rasmussen poll conducted in late June, only 11% of Americans believe Putin is to blame for the record high gas prices in the US.