Today the people who receive Universal Credit are all about to get a £20 a week cut because of a decision set out by Boris Johnson and his team several months ago. So if he is serious about this statement published on the Sky News this morning that is what needs to be resolved immediately. To be clear the calls for this cut to be reversed has been raised very clearly by all of the other political parties, along with agencies such as Foodbanks and indeed Faith Sector agencies. As a chap called Torsten Bell stated yesterday on Twitter
4.4 million households with 5.1m adults and 3.5m children will see their income fall by £1,000 overnight. For 1 million households that will mean an immediate loss of over 10% of their income as we take the basic rate of benefits to its lowest level since 1990
So if you have the gut to fix problems that is the one that needs fixing today. However unfortunately there are many others that need fixing. Here are a couple more for him to deal with while he is in Manchester with his colleagues.
A friend of mine Councillor Robert Eggleston tweeted yesterday
Hundreds of healthy pigs culled due to abbatoir worker shortage
This is clearly a situation that could have been avoided if the leader of the nation in political terms had called for a credible assessment of what was going to happen when Brexit happened. The appalling impact of COVID-19 was of course an additional challenge but taking on board the response from 52% of voters in the way that Johnson has dealt with matters in terms of adopting Brexit is deeply disturbing. Another theme on the same subject came out in the first official day of the Conservative conference when David Frost who was previously Baron Frost before he withdrew from the House of Lords stated very clearly his view. The reason why there is a modest border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK is due to our departure from the EU (which NI voted against) and the need for a borderless connection between Northern Ireland and Eire based on the Good Friday Agreement. So the only alternative would be if Eire was willing to leave the EU, or if we were willing to remain in a single market with the EU. For Frost to blame the EU for their behaviour will no doubt have inspired many people who are looking to blame someone else, but we are the cause of this problem or perhaps it is our Government as after all they took the referendum and chose to ignore the risks on the Irish situation along with the availability of people to work in abbatoirs and running lorries.
A third challenge is the way in which Johnson’s Government has been dealing with Asylum seekers which was a very disturbing approach prior to the Afghanistan collapse following the American decision being implemented. However this has made the appalling actions of this Government even clearer and needing an even stronger approach.
So if Johnson has the guts to resolve these three problems that would be a very strong reversal of his work over the last six years and beyond and certainly over the last three months which was the first theme above that is starting today.