Martin Lewis gave his verdict on the budget after the government unveiled its autumn statement, including billions of pounds in tax hikes and spending cuts.
Jeremy Hunt vowed to “tackle the cost of living crisis” and “rebuild our economy” by drawing up plans to raise taxes and cut spending.
The Chancellor said there would be a ‘less pronounced downturn’ as a result of his measures, but the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said the economy was ‘now in recession’.
Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis said that while the budget provides some help for those on the lowest incomes through benefit increases and the extension of support for energy bills, those who find themselves in the “tight middle” will face difficulties.
“It’s going to be difficult for everyone,” Mr Lewis told BBC World at One.
“Because the cost of living crisis is eating away at those in the middle who are not getting any benefits or any other payments, they will also not get electricity support except for the price guarantee of the energy, so what the chancellor has done is the state is sagging energy bills quite heavily.
He added that in the fine print of the changes to the guarantee, the government will consult on a “volume cap” on energy consumption.
“Which is a fancy way of saying that they will support the [energy] users,” Lewis said.
“Whether they can get this in place before 2024 is an interesting question.”
The Office for Budget Responsibility predicted that more than half a million people would lose their jobs, while living standards would plummet due to rising prices.
Former Labor minister Chris Bryant said OBR figures show household disposable income “falling, after what it did today, by 7% over the next two years”.
The OBR assessment said: “Rising prices are eroding real wages and reducing living standards by a combined 7% over the two years to 2023-24 (wiping out the growth of the previous eight years), despite over £100bn of additional government support.
“Squeezing real incomes, rising interest rates and falling house prices are weighing on consumption and investment, tipping the economy into a recession of just over a year to from the third quarter of 2022, with a peak-to-trough drop in GDP of 2 percent.
“Unemployment increases by 505,000 from 3.5% to peak at 4.9% in the third quarter of 2024.”
Mr Hunt was proposing a package of £30billion in spending cuts and £24billion in tax hikes over the next five years.
His package stands in stark contrast to his predecessor Kwasi Kwarteng’s ill-fated plan for £45billion in tax cuts less than two months ago which spooked markets, drove up the cost of borrowing and contributed to the fall Liz Truss’ shorts. -experienced administration.
Mr Hunt said: “I understand the motivation behind my predecessor’s mini-budget and he was right to identify growth as a priority. But unfunded tax cuts are as risky as unfunded spending.