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Sunak unveils promotional video ahead of Wednesday’s Budget

The Chancellor promised ‘honesty and fairness’ in the Budget but he was mocked over the glossy film.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak (PA)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak (PA)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak (PA)

Rishi Sunak promised that support for people during the coronavirus crisis is “not going to stop” in a promotional video ahead of the Budget.

The Chancellor said his statement on Wednesday would be characterised by “honesty and fairness”.

But he was mocked over the short film chronicling his year in office, with shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth joking “the ego has landed”.

Mr Sunak said: “One year ago I was preparing for my first ever Budget.

“A lot has happened since then, but the promises that underpin our plan remain unchanged.”

The video features an interview with Mr Sunak intercut with footage of the year’s events and a dramatic soundtrack.

Mr Sunak was given the job by Boris Johnson after his predecessor as chancellor, Sajid Javid, quit in February 2020 rather than agreeing to a demand to fire his closest aides.

He delivered his first Budget after less than a month in office and just weeks before coronavirus forced a national lockdown.

Mr Sunak said he could not sleep before the launch of the furlough scheme and described the “amazing moment” when the first Covid-19 vaccine was approved.

In the five-and-a-half minute video he also said he wanted young people not to be a “generation scarred by coronavirus” but the “kickstart generation” – a reference to his programme to help them into work.

Mr Sunak used the video to indicate that coronavirus support schemes would be extended as the country begins to exit lockdown.

“Throughout this crisis I have always been determined to make sure the Government is doing what it can to provide support to get through this enormously difficult time and that’s not going to stop,” he said.

“People should be reassured that we are going to continue to be there to support them as we get through this difficult period and emerge – hopefully stronger – on the other side.”

Mr Sunak praised the “spirit of resilience” shown by the British people and promised: “At the heart of this Budget will be honesty and fairness – honesty about our situation, both in the short term where we are still grappling with coronavirus and we want to keep providing support, but also honesty about our long term with the exciting opportunities we have to drive new growth across the country.”

But he was challenged online by self-employed workers and freelancers who have missed out on support from the Government’s schemes.

Twitter user Craig Hazell said: “Lovely video. Now what about the millions of us you (excluded) when you promised we wouldn’t be forgotten.”

The ExcludedUK campaign has been calling for Mr Sunak to address gaps in his support schemes.

PA


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