Jeremy Hunt: out of touch, tone deaf and not in the same universe

Photo by Howard Lake
 Wikimedia Commons, 2.0 licence

When I wrote my original missive to you [see below], I was already rather irate at your, to put it mildly, “out of touch” comments. To find that you have now reiterated them has left me, I will be honest, positively incandescent with fury.

In a rather staggering encore to your previous declarations, you’ve taken to the airwaves this morning on both of the main Sunday politics shows, somehow managing to double down on the utterly crass and deluded notion that £100k per annum scarcely qualifies as a hefty sum in the grand scheme of mortgages and childcare.

This bizarre performance, broadcast with all the solemnity of a state address, merely cements your position in the illustrious pantheon of the politically tone-deaf. Your comments belligerently echo that of our now ex prime-minister when he compared his income of £250k from a second job as merely “chicken feed”. Yours, as Chancellor in the midst of a cost of living crisis largely engineered by you and your party, exceeds even that in the depth of lack of self-awareness you’ve displayed.

Now, you are a man of numbers (or so I would presume, considering your position), so I’ve taken some time this morning to pull together a few statistics of which I’m sure you must be aware, but are somehow actively and blatantly ignoring. So, all that said, let’s dissect the reality that you seem to be so happily overlooking, shall we?

  • The current national median wage sits at a humble £28,400. Not even in the same universe as your “not huge” £100k.
  • Our seniors are somehow expected to scrape by on a national pension of £11,502 per year.
  • A single person navigating the benefits system faces a rock-hard ceiling between £14,753 and £16,967.
  • A family that is dependent on benefits is capped between £22,020 and £25,424.
  • Nurses, the now nearly shattering backbone of our NHS, earn an average wage of £33,384, yet they are repeatedly told to “be happy with what you have.”
  • The average police officer’s salary is £27,931 – guardians of peace, paid in peanuts.
  • Care workers, those tasked with looking after our most vulnerable, bring home a paltry £20,668 and have the benefit of being actively vilified by you and your party.
  • Teachers, shapers of future generations, manage an average of £36,745.

Even our doctors, who earn an average of £41,300, would likely baulk at your assessment of what constitutes a “huge” salary.

Every single one of these wages quoted are multiples less than what you consider “not a huge” salary. Your remarks serve not merely to illuminate a vast gap in your understanding of the people of this country; they reveal a mile-wide chasm, a gaping void so profound it might well be considered a marvel of political physics. Your stance doesn’t just smell of insensitivity; it positively reeks of a toxic disdain for the lived realities of those you’re sworn to serve.

In standing by your statement this morning, Mr Hunt, you’ve not only dismissed the financial strife that gnaws at the fabric of our society; you’ve effectively spat in the face of it. To posit that £100k is somehow a middling income in a nation where the figures above are not just statistics but daily lives lived in quiet and relentless desperation is to indulge in a fantasy so detached from the grind of existence as to be grotesque. It begs the question, Mr. Hunt: if £100k is the new baseline for financial comfort, what does that say about the government’s stance towards the nurse battling through another 12-hour shift, the teacher spending out of pocket to supply a classroom, or the care worker counting pennies to make rent?

Your words aren’t merely out of touch; they are a cacophonic clarion call of aggressive indifference – a signal that the struggles of the many are utterly lost on the few who steer the ship. As such, Mr. Hunt, I demand you recalibrate not just your perceptions of wealth, but also your understanding of duty. It’s high time the policies that you and your party espouse so eloquently, and in such fine English, reflected the lives of the many, not the comfortably insulated experiences of the few, such as yourself. Until that time, your proclamations on what constitutes a “huge” salary will continue to echo as nothing more than the ear-shattering clang of silver spoons in the highest of ivory towers.

I conclude, Mr Hunt, with a stark reminder: nearly 3 million people in the UK now rely on food banks to survive – an exponential rise from 68,000 when your party assumed power in 2010.

This isn’t just failure; it’s a damning indictment of your government’s policies. You are relentlessly, aggressively and monumentally failing this country, and you should hang your head in shame. We await not just clarification but action – policies that bridge the divide rather than entrench it, though we all realise that this is anathema to the approach that your party has taken for the past 14 years.

Failing that, we demand a General Election – and we demand it now!

The original message:

By your own account, £100k in income is now “not a huge salary”, and yet, if we’re to believe the government figures, the average salary in the United Kingdom is £35,400pa – just under three times the number that you would consider not huge.

If £100k is pocket change in the Hunt household, then congratulations on achieving a level of disconnect that would make Marie Antoinette blush. With the average salary in the UK sitting at £35,400 – a figure you apparently breeze past on your way to the “real money” – it’s clear we’re not just on different pages; we’re reading entirely different books.

This little pearl of wisdom you’ve dropped is more than just a gaffe; it’s a beacon, illuminating the yawning chasm between the Westminster elite and the rest of us scrabbling in the dirt. If £100k barely makes you bat an eyelid, then what hope is there for the rest of us, grappling with a cost of living crisis that’s biting harder than a hungry pitbull? Your words aren’t just tone-deaf; they’re a symphony of ignorance, conducted by someone who’s clearly never had to choose between heating and eating. This isn’t just out of touch, Jeremy; it’s in another damn galaxy.

So here’s a radical idea: Instead of pontificating from the ivory towers of privilege about what constitutes a “huge” salary, how about crafting policies that reflect the harsh realities of those you supposedly serve? How about addressing the fact that for most people, £100k isn’t just huge, it’s a bloody pipe dream?

The people of Britain don’t need a chancellor who thinks £100k is chump change; they need someone who understands that living in this economy is like trying to swim in a suit of armour. It’s time to get real about the cost of living, about wages, and about the fact that the majority of this country is trying to make a meal out of crumbs.

So, Mr Hunt, in the spirit of your breath-taking revelation, let’s recalibrate. Let’s bring those sky-high perceptions of wealth back down to earth, where the rest of us live. It’s time for policies that don’t just benefit the champagne set but provide real, tangible support for the rest of us who consider a good month one where we don’t have to put groceries on a credit card. Until then, kindly save your insights into what constitutes a “huge” salary.

The people of this country are too busy surviving your government’s next act of financial wizardry to care.