THE SNP’s Stephen Flynn has said that super-rich Rishi Sunak is unable to grasp “the reality of the economic situation facing households” across the UK.

The attack came during Prime Minister’s Questions, that was dominated by news that the rate of inflation has not eased, but remained stuck at 8.7%. despite experts forecasting a fall to 8.4%.

It means the Bank of England will almost certainly raise interest rates tomorrow, causing more pain for mortgage-holders.

READ MORE: Inflation: Rate remains unchanged in May new figures show

In January, when Mr Sunak set out his priorities for 2023, the first was a promise to “halve inflation this year to ease the cost of living and give people financial security.”

Mr Flynn told MPs: “In February the prime minister told this here house that borrowing costs are back to where they should be. 

“In March, he boasted we are on track to half inflation by the end of the year. 

“And in May, he then said economic optimism is increasing. Well, given the dire economic reality of today, is it not now clear that he's taken his honesty lessons from Boris Johnson?”

The Prime Minister pointed out that the Bank of England, the OBR, the OECD, and the IMF, had all upgraded their growth outlook for the United Kingdom economy.

“Whilst he and others were predicting that this country would enter a recession, the actions of this government have meant that we have so far averted that and we continue to be on track to keep reducing inflation because that is the right economic priority,” he replied.

The Herald:

“Listening to the Prime Minister's answer, I don't think he quite grasps the reality of the economic situation facing households across this isle. How could he?” Mr Flynn asked, referring to the Tory leader’s wealth. 

According to the Sunday Times' Rich List 2023, Mr Sunak and wife Akshata Murty are estimated to be worth around £529 million.

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Mr Flynn continued: “It didn't need to be like this. Because mortgage deals in Ireland they're not sitting in excess of 6%. There round about 4.5%. Inflation in the euro area, that's not an 8.7% it's sitting at closer to 6%.

“Britain is broke. Now seven years after the EU referendum. Will he finally admit that it was Brexit that broke it?”

Mr Sunak said interest rates in the UK were are at similar levels to rates in the US, Canada, Australia and in New Zealand. 

He said the rise in inflation and interest rates was “a global phenomenon.” 

Mr Sunak said the government would bring inflation down but that would require “difficult and responsible decisions.” 

“That's what leadership looks like. I don't think the SNP will ever do the same thing.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also challenged Mr Sunak on inflation and mortgage rates. 

He said Tory policies were to blame for the “mortgage catastrophe”.

“Thirteen years of economic failure and a Tory kamikaze budget which crashed the economy and put mortgages through the roof.”

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Sir Keir said the “Tory mortgage penalty” would cost  the average homeowner a £2,900 a year. 

“Now he was warned by experts about this as long ago as autumn last year, but he either didn’t get it, didn’t believe it or didn’t care because he certainly didn’t do anything, and when I raised this a couple of months ago, he had the gall to stand at that despatch box and say he was delivering for homeowners.  How is an extra £2,900 a year on repayment delivering for homeowners?”

Mr Sunak replied: “Perhaps (he) could explain why interest rates are at similar levels in the US, in Canada, in Australia and New Zealand, why they’re at the highest level in Europe that they’ve been for two decades.

“That’s why it’s important that we have a plan to reduce inflation, but in contrast what do we hear from (him). He wants to borrow an extra £28 billion a year, that would make the situation worse …. He doesn’t have many policies, but the few that he does have all have the same thing in common, they’re dangerous, inflationary and working people would pay the price.”