A TORY minister tasked with rebutting accusations that his government is out of touch has been branded “patronising and insulting” after suggesting struggling families should shop around for “value” deals.

Environment Secretary George Eustice was sent out to bat for Number 10 on Wednesday following Boris Johnson’s car crash Good Morning Britain (GMB) interview the day before.

The Tory leader boasted, inaccurately, about introducing free bus travel after being told about a pensioner who rides public transport all day to keep warm. He was also left red-faced after asking who Lorraine Kelly is.

READ MORE: Pensioner who rides bus to stay warm 'disappointed' with Boris Johnson's response

Eustice was asked on Sky News what his advice was to people who want a Sunday roast with a chicken but can’t afford it.

He told Kay Burley: “Generally speaking, what people find is by going for some of the value brands rather than own-branded products – they can actually contain and manage their household budget.

“It will undoubtedly put a pressure on household budgets and, of course, it comes on top of those high gas prices as well.”

The comments were condemned as further evidence of the UK Government’s failure to properly comprehend or combat the cost-of-living crisis.

SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald branded the remarks “utterly patronising and insulting”.

She added: "The Tories have once again shown how out of touch they are with the challenges facing households – with rising prices and bills piling on the pressure and pushing people over the brink.

"Rather than bringing forward meaningful financial measures to help support families and to put money into people's pockets, the Tory government is instead sitting on its hands and resorting to treating people with contempt.”

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According to research from the British Retail Consortium, supermarket prices increased at the fastest rate in more than a decade last month.

Energy bills and fuel prices have also skyrocketed in recent months, as the UK reels from the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.

Scottish LibDem MP Wendy Chamberlain said: “These comments show George Eustice and the Conservatives are living in a parallel universe. Families and pensioners who can’t afford their weekly shop need more help, not patronising advice from a clueless minister."

Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Pat McFadden, added: “This is woefully out of touch from a government with no solution to the cost of living crisis facing working people."

Opposition leaders are urging the Government to announce an emergency budget, including a windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits.

Johnson told GMB that such a tax would deter investment in the UK.

However, BP chief executive Bernard Looney told the Times that a windfall tax would not stop the energy giant from spending a penny of its planned £18 billion investment in the UK.

Responding on Times Radio, the Prime Minister said: "If BP wants to pay a windfall tax then that’s another matter ... the clear advice we have is we need those big companies to invest.”