Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been accused of being “out of touch” after it was revealed the millionaire politician has four cars, including high-end Range Rover and Lexus models, despite claiming his family drives a modest hatchback.
Mr Sunak told MPs that he had a pre-2019 VW Golf but it has since emerged his family has access to at least three other cars, all of which are significantly more expensive than the mainstream family model.
According to sources quoted by the Mirror, the Golf is used for travelling around London but Mr Sunak’s family also owns an unspecified BMW, a top-of-the-range Lexus and a high-end Range Rover, which are kept either in the UK or at the family’s home in Santa Monica, California.
While BMW’s range starts at £26,500, more luxurious models can reach £100,000. Range Rovers like the one Mr Sunak uses start at £84,000 and can reach £150,000 for high-spec versions, while high-end Lexus models can cost anywhere from £40,000 to £80,000.
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Mr Sunak faced a backlash and ridicule after a staged photo shoot saw him awkwardly fuelling a Kia Rio at a Sainsbury’s petrol station after announcing a 5p per litre cut to fuel duty during his Spring Statement.
During questioning by MPs over last Wednesday’s mini-Budget, Treasury select committee member Siobhan McDonagh asked Mr Sunak whether his family had a Rio, to which he replied: “We have a Golf”.
He then explained that the older Kia used in the PR stunt belonged to an employee at the supermarket and said he had used his own money to add around £30 of fuel to the car.
Shadow Treasury Minister James Murray said: “He’s got 200,000 Insta followers and four cars but the Chancellor hasn’t got a single clue. He is out of touch and out of ideas.”
Mr Sunak has been accused of not doing enough to help struggling families in his mini-Budget, with many observers warning that the temporary 5p reduction in fuel duty will have little impact compared with the recent rises in costs, which have seen prices soar by at least 24p per litre since the start of March.
There are also concerns that retailers aren’t passing on the fuel duty saving to drivers as prices remain high. If filling stations passed the cut on drivers should have seen a 6p per litre drop in forecourt prices. However, since last Wednesday, average prices have fallen just 3.7p per litre, despite oil prices falling over the weekend.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Drivers will be disappointed that prices haven’t come down further since last week’s fuel duty cut.
‘As duty is charged on the wholesale cost of fuel, it’s the case that some retailers will be waiting for new deliveries in order to buy fuel in at the cheaper rate - meaning drivers will have to wait to see the benefit at the pumps.
‘What happens to the oil price, and in turn wholesale costs, in the coming days will be crucial.
‘If prices rise, there’s a risk the fuel duty cut will be cancelled out as retailers face higher costs.”