British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday (May 3) the government could not help everyone through the current cost-of-living crisis and had to remain prudent with its spending to avoid stoking an inflationary spiral. Surging prices are contributing to the biggest squeeze on household incomes since at least the 1950s, putting pressure on the government to come up with support for the poorest, particularly those who cannot afford soaring energy bills.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain at Downing Street, Johnson acknowledged that the government could not provide enough support to offset the higher costs immediately, but said it was working to deal with prices over the medium and long term.
Asked why welfare benefits would not rise in line with inflation, Johnson said the government had to be wary of driving up inflation even further. It hit a 30-year-high of 7% in March. He also said that a windfall tax on energy companies would hamper investment and keep oil prices higher over the long term.
Britain said on Monday (May 2) it would provide 300 million pounds ($375 million) more in military aid to Ukraine, including electronic warfare equipment and a counter-battery radar system, on top of around 200 million pounds of assistance so far. Johnson told ITV that this support was not to drive geopolitical change or to “have an outcome in Moscow”, but to help Ukraine defend itself. The prime minister was due to address Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday morning via video link.