Sunak Thinks UK Adults Are The Ones Who Need To Improve At Maths – So Twitter Brings Receipts

"It would be nice if the government could do maths."
Rishi Sunak has accused the UK of having an "anti-maths mindset" as he plans to unveil a new strategy to make the subject compulsory up to 18
Rishi Sunak has accused the UK of having an "anti-maths mindset" as he plans to unveil a new strategy to make the subject compulsory up to 18
PHIL NOBLE via Reuters

Rishi Sunak is unveiling a strategy to make it compulsory for all students to learn maths up to 18 today – but Twitter thinks he needs to look at his own government’s recent calculations first.

The prime minister is expected to say he will tackle the UK’s “anti-maths mindset” where there’s a “cultural sense that it’s OK to be bad at maths”.

But, it’s worth remembering that his words come after 13 years of Conservative leadership.

The government was also criticised for not being able to add up when it comes to the country’s national debt either, which reached £2.5 trillion this year.

Sunak himself was accused of squandering £11 billion of taxpayers’ money by paying too much interest on the government’s debt.

Then, there’s the fears about teacher recruitment after the government oversaw 13 years of real terms pay cuts for the sector. Ministers are yet to reach a settlement with those who are still teaching, too.

Yet, this new strategy will mean thousands more specialist teachers are required.

Some Twitter users pointed out how other issues in the sector – such as Ofsted’s – have further demoralised the industry, too, and that this should be priority instead.

Of course, there’s no overlooking the turbulent time the government has brought on our economy recently either.

Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss caused the value of the pound to plummet after just a few weeks in office because of her dangerous “mini-budget” which sent the markets into turmoil.

Others have also accused Brexit – which Sunak and many of his senior ministers championed – of further damaging our economy, especially as the UK’s economy is now expected to trail all of the other nations in the G7 over the next year.

Of course, plenty joked that this new tactic was all an attempt to troll Sunak’s predecessor, and her then-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.

Carol Vorderman, who has a reputation for particularly fast maths skills after appearing on Countdown for 26 years, has also recently been attacking the government, claiming it is “to its very soul, corrupt”.

So Twitter has quick to point out that trying to fight an “anti-maths mindset” right now is “interesting”.

Others noted that the whole strategy might just mean people have a greater understanding of “financial equity”.

The government has been repeatedly criticised for not doing enough to end the cost of living crisis, double-digit inflation and the growing levels of poverty in the UK.

Sunak meanwhile is known for being the wealthiest occupant of No.10 ever and only last year made headlines after it was revealed his wife – the daughter of a billionaire – was able to pay less tax by having a non-dom status. She subsequently renounced it after the backlash.

Still, their shared fortune comes to an estimated value of £730 million, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

Then, there’s the ongoing fight between the government and all the public sectors which are striking.

Many questioned whether the own government’s maths has been sufficient, as ministers have repeatedly claimed that increasing public sector pay will only worsen inflation.

Others called for the NHS to be fixed first, as its employees are still striking over pay.

And then there were those who criticised Sunak after he said that it should be socially unacceptable for people to be “bad at maths”.

Overall, looking at the way the government has handled public finances over the last few years (particularly during the pandemic), people really, really, were not impressed.


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