by Ian Shires on 7 October, 2021
Much has been said this week by ‘fat cat’ Tories at their showpiece Conference about removing the £20 a week uplift on Universal Credit.
From what I saw, most of what was said was ill informed, or so far from the reality those receiving Universal Credit experience at best made it fanciful, at worst made it was downright delusional. For a start, many claimants are nothing like the scroungers they are made out to be in the right wing media. Far from it, many are in work or are full time carers for a family member.
With the cost of the basics of everyday life rising sharply as a result of the Pandemic made worse for the UK by BREXIT, the Tories could not have picked a worse time if they’d tried in order to put their ‘nasty party’ face and coldly set about removing what to many can mean the difference between eating or heating. Yet speaker after speaker has stood before the cheering Tory faithful justifying their Government taking away £1040 a year from the poorest in our society.
They painted a picture of ne’er do wells who scrounge on the rest of society. They pointed to the proposed rise in the minimum wage from £8.91 to £9,42, really, how much difference do they think 51pence is going to make? Another straw they grasp is if you are on low pay, then go get trained to do a higher paying job. How is that going to happen when you are already working all the hours God sent to keep the wolf from the door! When all else fails then the cry goes out to get on your bike and get a job, when the reality is most of those claiming Universal Credit are already in full-time work, or are full-time carers for a relative, or can’t work due to health reasons.
But for me, the thing that has made my blood boil the most this week, was when long serving Tory MP, Sir Peter Bottomley, representing Worthing West, spoke of himself and many of his colleagues finding the situation “desperately difficult” and having a “grim” struggle living on an MP’s £81,932 salary. You can read this heart-rending or as I found it, gut-wrenching tale if you wish via this Link to the “Evening Standard” https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/tory-mp-sir-peter-bottomley-grim-82k-pounds-pay-rise-b959174.html
How can so many people be taken in by one man, one ideology? In his keynote speech, Johnson stood in front of Conference yesterday to deliver his now familiar self centred message, I’ve fixed it! COVID? I’ve fixed it! No reference to the 32,281 new cases a day or the 100 deaths from COVID each day, or the efforts put in by NHS frontline workers and the scientists who worked tirelessly to produce a vaccine. Economic recovery? I’ve fixed that! Really? The United Kingdom is suffering from fuel shortages, gaps on supermarket shelves, rising inflation and slowing economic growth. Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists he isn’t worried — But perhaps he should be? So many false dawns, so many U-turns, many of those who pinned their hopes on him only to be dashed, time surely must be running out for him and his Party.Leave a comment