Cost of living crisis could lead to Boris Johnson's downfall - Greg Wright

Boris Johnson’s capacity for survival while facing a sea of largely self-inflicted troubles will provide historians with plenty of food for thought.

The cries of outrage about his conduct in relation to Partygate have simply made him more determined to hang on to power.

The events of the last few months have shown that a Prime Minister with a large majority and no clear successor can prove remarkably hard to eject from office. Johnson continues to defy political gravity.

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Only one thing, it seems, will lead to the PM’s downfall. That is a stinging rejection by the electorate at the ballot box. The Prime Minister cannot hold back the economic tide and the cost of living crisis, which is in danger of spiralling out of control, could prove to be the decisive factor that leads to him finally being ousted.

If millions of people believe the Government could do more to ease their financial pain, they may well decide they have tired of Boris Johnson, for all his relentless optimism.

Millions of families are facing deep financial hardship. The most effective way of expressing their displeasure is by voting out the party in power.

Energy bosses have warned that as many as four in 10 people in Britain could fall into fuel poverty in October. Scottish Power chief executive Keith Anderson said the Government should take £1,000 off the bills of the poorest people in the country in October.

The Government or billpayers would then pay this off over 10 years, he suggested.

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Another study has concluded that almost one in 10 parents is “very likely” to need to use a food bank in the next three months.

Some 9 per cent of parents – or 1.3 million – said they expected to visit a food bank to cope with the soaring cost of living, with 88 per cent saying their monthly food shop has increased in price over the past three months.

Of those parents who reported a rise in their household bills in the survey for Deliveroo, 58 per cent have cut back on heating as a result. One third (33 per cent) of all parents reported skipping one or more meals in the past three months to keep up with other essential costs, while one in five (20 per cent) had been unable to cook hot food on at least one occasion because they could not afford to use the oven.

The research by the food delivery platform and the food bank network charity Trussell Trust was released as they announced a new partnership to provide up to two million meals and support for people facing hunger across the country.

Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said: “Everyone should be able to afford their own food, but as families face the biggest income squeeze in a generation, people are telling us they’re having to make impossible decisions between heating and eating and being forced to turn to food banks to feed themselves.”

Workers who once considered themselves relatively well off are also feeling the pinch, and may well question whether the Government is doing enough to help them.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said workers were seeking pay rises and extra help from their organisations because of the cost-of-living crisis but were often coming away “empty-handed”.

Research among 1,000 managers indicated that about half of companies are giving basic pay awards, but a similar number reported that no wage rises were being offered. Basic pay awards were reported to be 2.8 per cent on average, significantly below the current 7 per cent rate of inflation, said the report.

One in five respondents said their organisation was planning action to support staff as a direct result of the cost of living crisis, with offers such as cycle to work schemes, eye care vouchers, employee assistance programmes or free tea, coffee and cold drinks.

Anthony Painter, director of policy at CMI, said: “Cost pressures are hitting employers and employees alike, and something in the system will have to give.

“Four out of five managers polled didn’t think the Spring Statement went far enough with measures to help UK business, their organisation, or to support British workers through the cost of living increases.”

It is these cold, hard facts that are most likely to lead to Johnson being evicted from Number 10.

If millions of people believe the Government could do more to ease their financial pain, they may well decide they have tired of Johnson, for all his relentless optimism.