Outgoing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sparked outrage after being accused of telling Britons to buy a new kettle in order to save £10 on their energy bills – but here’s what actually happened.
Mr Johnson delivered a speech in which he approved the construction of a new nuclear power plant. In what is expected to be his final major policy speech as Prime Minister, he urged his successor to “go nuclear, go big” in order to help lower energy bills for ordinary Britons.
He received a barrage of criticism on social media for remarks he made during the speech.
The outgoing Prime Minister highlighted that while investing £700million of taxpayer money into funding the new nuclear plant may be expensive now, in the longer term it will help reduce costs.
“It is called short-termism,” he said. “It is a chronic case of politicians not being able to see beyond the political cycle.”
To make his point, he compared the situation to a family deciding to buy a new kettle. He told journalists: “You have to look ahead. And you have to beware of the false economy.
“If you have an old kettle that takes ages to boil, it may cost you £20 to replace it.
“But if you get a new one you will save £10 a year every year on your electricity bill.”
In response to Johnson’s remarks, Shadow Labour health secretary Wes Streeting said: “Can’t pay your bills this winter, buy a kettle now and save £10 a few years down the line.
“That’s a saving of 3p a day in year three – before taking inflation into account.”
Shadow labour foreign secretary David Lammy added: “Ofgem: Energy bills for a typical household will rise to £3,549 a year.
“The Prime Minister: Buy a new kettle to save £10 a year.
Meanwhile, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated, “The energy price cap will rise by 80% to £3,549 next month, and Boris Johnson is telling people to buy a new kettle to save money on their bills over a few hundred years.”
“Stop wasting time. We need wealth tax and public ownership now.”
Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have promised to help families with their energy bills if they are elected Prime Minister next week.