‘That was the past’ BBC’s Sophie Raworth lashes out at Ashworth’s debt criticism

Jonathon Ashworth says pensioners will be £222 worse off

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BBC presenter Sophie Raworth questioned the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary if the Government could afford to borrow more money after Rishi Sunak announced that a record £83 billion on debt interest alone was forecast to be spent in the next financial year. Speaking to BBC’s Sunday Morning, Mr Ashworth said: “The reason why we’ve got this problem with borrowing is because for 12 long years.”

Ms Raworth interjected: “I’m not asking about the borrowing, I’m asking about whether or not the Government can afford to spend more money.”

The Labour MP continued: “The debt and borrowing is a reflection of hacking away at the roots of growth.

“If you had better growth in those 12 years, we would be in a better position.”

The BBC presenter added: “That was the past.”

Mr Ashworth noted: “We’re in a better position now to deal with the pressure on public services.

“You’ve got to ask yourself after 12 years of hacking away at growth, we have public services stretched and the highest tax burden.”

Ms Raworth was forced to ask again: “That’s not what I’m asking you. I’m asking if a Government can afford to spend or to borrow more money when it’s already having to spend £18million paying off the interest on its debt.

“I’m just wondering whether you think a Government can borrow more money.”

More to follow…

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