Planning U.K.’s Route Out of Recession, Sunak Sips From $226 Cup

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will unveil his plan to pull the U.K. out of what is predicted to be the worst recession for 300 years on Wednesday, so as he made his preparations he needed a sustaining drink.

At the center of his desk -- as he finalized details of projects to prevent mass unemployment and reassure people facing a crisis in their family finances -- sat a coffee cup retailing at 180 pounds ($226).

The Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug 2, which appears in photographs released by Sunak’s office ahead of Wednesday’s statement to Parliament, works with an app on his phone that lets the chancellor choose exactly how hot or cool to keep his beverage.

Planning U.K.’s Route Out of Recession, Sunak Sips From $226 Cup

The mug, equivalent to more than 20 hours work for someone on the minimum wage, has echoes of a similar gaffe by one of his predecessors, George Osborne. In 2013, Osborne was lampooned for eating what the Sun newspaper described as “poshburger” in a photograph he tweeted the night before a spending review.

That image, intended to show him as a man of the people, led to criticism that he was cutting public spending while dining on burgers from Byron that were seven times more expensive than McDonald’s.

But Sunak’s picture at least shows he’s been busy -- a warning light shows the mug’s battery is flat.

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