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Chancellor says £100,000 not a huge salary in Surrey

Jeremy Hunt on Budget day with the red briefcase
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is the MP for South West Surrey

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said £100,000 is "not a huge salary" for people in his Surrey constituency.

Mr Hunt said on X, formerly Twitter, he had been making calls as part of his work as MP for South West Surrey.

He said he had been speaking to "a lady from Godalming" about eligibility for the government’s childcare offer, which is not available if one parent is earning more than £100,000, and said: "I am aware that it is not huge salary in our area if you have a mortgage to pay."

Labour said it showed "how desperately out of touch the Tories are".

Mortgage costs 'through roof'

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Paymaster General, said: “The Chancellor has again revealed how desperately out of touch the Tories are with working people when he claims someone earning £100,000 a year is not a 'huge salary'.

"The overwhelming majority of working people in this country would dream of earning that, yet they are all being made to pay the price of 14 years of Tory failure.

"It is staggering for the Chancellor to complain about mortgage costs when it was the Conservative government which crashed the economy with their kamikaze budget and sent mortgage costs through the roof.

“Only a Labour government will stand up for working people and tackle the cost of living crisis.”

Surrey county councillor Paul Follows, who is standing as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate against Mr Hunt in the next election, wrote: "Perhaps this is the case when you are a multi-millionaire who can funnel 100k+ into his own campaign without breaking a sweat - but it’s great deal more than the national or local average and a massive indicator as to why the cost of living crisis impacting residents across the country seems to have missed him totally."

Working parents can receive free childcare for youngsters aged three and four.

Current rules state those eligible individually earn more than £8,670 but less than £100,000 per year.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK's median gross annual salary for full-time employees was £34,963 in April 2023.

At this month's Budget, Mr Hunt announced a shake up of the child benefit eligibility criteria.

He said full child benefit would be paid to households where the highest-earning parent earns up to £60,000.

The current limit is £50,000.

He also announced that partial child benefit would be paid where highest earner earns up to £80,000.

Mr Hunt has been contacted for comment.

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