Moving the same people around shows the sheer lack of talent and for Johnson rewarding loyalty is more important than any discernible competence. Musical chairs. Moving people around who are useless whilst getting rid of a few you’d never heard of.
The whole thing was a timed distraction as drooling establishment journalists pored over who was in and who was out in varying states of euphoria depending on who was losing a trusted source and who’s had survived. It was timed to distract from the biggest cut to social security in British History and it worked – the intended cut to Universal Credit being voted through that evening was by and large even on social media, buried.
The Tories intended cut to Universal Credit, what they are terming the withdrawal of the uplift was passed last night. £1040 a year taken away from the poorest, often working households given this extra money to help with the additional costs of the COVID crisis. It came in in March of last year and has helped keep many afloat with children at home, work uncertainty and of course the uncertainty of whether or not you’d contract the virus and need to isolate. It is another evidenceless act of cruelty from Johnson’s regime that they’ve done this, but for him it probably brings back happy Bullingdon memories of burning £50 notes in the faces of the homeless – here he’s been able to burn a virtual twenty in the face of 5.5 million families every single week. I’m sure he’ll sleep like a baby at night.
The fact is the COVID crisis is still ongoing as much as Johnson might wish to pretend its not. So much stock has been put in a vaccine that loses efficacy over the course of several months that he feel the country can get back to normal and keep on opening up, ignoring the fact 200 people died yesterday alone and those figures, along with hospitalisations and positive cases are on the rise too as we head into a winter period, so where is the justification on withdrawing this money? Need to pay off those ministers you actually sacked? £17,000 a piece they get, 17 families worth of annual Universal Credit uplift each and many of them have just moved to a new post just to rub salt in the wounds.
Its not like this is the first instance of the Tories doing away with restrictions that make no sense either. The most vulnerable were required to shield for the longest time and then this was again, completely done away with overnight, so much stock being placed in that vaccine. When double vaccinated people are losing their lives still because the vaccine was never 100% effective and always needed to be taken in conjunction with other social mitigations, its little wonder despite the good the vaccine is capable of, we’re still seeing rising cases. All this the poorest families, 40% of whom are working already, so seeking more work may not be a solution, are having to deal with on worse incomes.
The UN special rapporteur on poverty has also implied that human rights law may have been broken to force this through. I’m sure Johnson will get human rights hater, now the new justice secretary Dominic ‘Afghanistan can wait, I’m off for a swim in the closed sea’ Raab to fix that little detail given half a chance, but it is damning that once again we’ve been seen to flout our human rights obligations and to be doing so against our own people and over social security. Previously it was people like the original minister for death Iain Duncan Smith the UN were getting heated with, but this cut is so bad Smith had actually spoken out against it himself!
But the very fact the UN have attacked the Tories over regressive cuts to the poorest incomes, particularly while not asking the rich to pay more shouldn’t give anyone any hope that that’ll change anything. Somebody would have to be willing to take the UK government to an international court of law over it and so far nobody has seemed very willing. Not when we were an EU member for example certainly not now that we’re out.
The fact is the uplift, entirely spent within the economy, helping to support it, made all the difference. Thousands more people now face the choice between heating and eating. The reliance on foodbanks is going to increase significantly as Energy bills are due to rise by an average of £139 per year this winter. As I mentioned before 40% of Universal Credit claimants are in work and many of those face that National Insurance tax increase as well as this cut and rising energy bills. A Trussell Trust survey has indicated that 20% of Universal Credit claimants, that’s 1.2 million people expect they’ll have to skip meals and fractionally more, 1.3 million say they will not be able to afford to heat their homes and perversely it’ll be mostly those in the colder north of the country disproportionately affected by this. All whilst we’re still in the COVID crisis! Another 900,000 are expected to rely on foodbanks to help feed them as well. All so the richest and most able don’t have to pay a penny more, though some have said they’d be prepared to. Fact is, Johnson isn’t prepared to let them or make them. It’s the poor, non-Tory voting ordinary working classes being oppressed again, by an Old Etonian born with a silver spoon. It is class war, make no mistake about it.
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