Gordon Brown says UK Government in 'crisis' and demands fourth budget to help with cost-of-living pressure
Gordon Brown has demanded a fourth budget to help with the cost-of-living crisis and shared his “shock” at the growing number of people in poverty.
The former prime minister called for Boris Johnson to “get people together” to find a solution in the face of soaring inflation.
Speaking to BBC’s Sunday Morning, the Scottish Labour stalwart also called on Mr Johnson to spearhead a global summit aimed at helping to tackle people’s soaring costs.
Asked about poverty figures, Mr Brown said: “I am shocked by the fact that so many families and so many children are going to be forced into poverty during this winter, despite Chancellor [Rishi] Sunak’s proposals last month.
“I see millions of families in poverty, and millions of children going to school ill clad and hungry. People are unable to afford to put up their heating.
“Something has got to be done about this. And it has to be done in a far fairer way than the previous three budgets.
“Family budgets are under huge pressure and the Government will need a plan. I am proposing a fourth budget. We’ve had three budgets this year. We need to do three things. First of all, we need to get inflation on a pathway towards stable prices.
“Secondly, the Government’s got to help ease family poverty, because child poverty is going to go beyond five million if we don’t take further action. And thirdly, I think what people are really looking for is a plan for growth to get over this.”
The former Labour leader explained the issues were not just a problem for Britain, but affecting every country around the globe.
He called for a “global solution” and stressed the need for leadership.
Mr Brown explained: “This is first of all a global problem that needs a global solution.
"We’re actually leaderless at the moment, but we’re not powerless.
“There’s a food crisis, 800 million on the verge of starvation.
"There’s an energy crisis with oil prices going up, affecting every country, inflation and, of course, on top of Covid and conflict and climate change, which is affecting every country.
“So Boris Johnson may be going to Rwanda and then to Germany, but he really ought to be getting world leaders together, and they should concoct a plan that deals in a concerted and comprehensive way that can get oil prices down, can get food supply moving around the world, and can get control of inflation.”
Chancellor for ten years, Mr Brown also warned inflation in the UK could reach 11 per cent at the same time as a recession, putting jobs and living standards at risk.
Demanding more action, he said: “Britain is one of the few countries without a policy for industry.
“We don’t have a trade deal either with America or with Europe, so in or out of Brexit we’ve really got to get our trading relations sorted out.
“Without that plan and there is no plan, there is no programme of action.
“The Government is going from crisis to crisis and scandal to scandal. We cannot see the way out of this. We will have pain now and pain later. What we need is minimising pain now and maximising gain later.
“At the moment, no Government minister can explain any strategy for the next year, two years or three years. There is no plan, no programme of action and there’s got to be one.”
There was also a defence of Sir Keir Starmer, after a week in which the Labour leader’s own shadow Cabinet were briefing that he was “boring”.
Suggesting Sir Keir ignore them, Mr Brown said: “What’s exciting about the possibility of Keir Starmer’s leadership is he will have a plan for Britain. He will show how we can get back growth.
"He will show how we can get living standards rising again, and he will show how we can have a fairer society that deals with problems like climate change.
“Keir Starmer was the Director of Public Prosecutions. He’s been a great public servant over many years and I think he’ll make a great Prime Minister.”
The UK and Scottish governments were contacted for comment.
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