Little Christmas cheer as Ministers prioritise turkeys – The Yorkhsire Post says

IT will sit uneasily with many families that the Government’s current priority appears to be Christmas rather than the multiple labour shortages and crises afflicting both society and the economy.

Boris Johnson says Christmas will be better than last year - but what does he mean?

Boris Johnson’s assertion that Christmas will be better than last year neglects the fact that last year’s festivities were overshadowed – even ruined for many – by his uncertainty over lockdown rules and subsequent chaos.

And Tory chair Oliver Dowden’s announcement that the supply of turkey, and other poultry, is a “priority” will, again, bemuse those whose warnings about staff shortages, and so on, have been routinely ignored until now.

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After all, the fuel distribution crisis – and continuing queues at filling stations across Britain – is, for now, overshadowing mounting concerns that the country has woefully insufficient carers to look after the elderly this winter.

For others, however, the “priority” is trying to afford to keep warm when fuel bills are skyrocketing – there are vulnerable people already having to decide whether to “eat or heat”.

And then there’s the cost of living crisis that will be exacerbated by the Government’s decision to end the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit this week, in addition to the winding up of furlough last Thursday, as the possibility of “stagflation” becomes a very real one.

If these day-to-day issues are not made “priorities” alongside neglected policies like “levelling up”, there will be very little Christmas cheer – and irrespective of whether Ministers make good on their promises about turkey supplies in one of their very rare interventions on farming.

Oliver Dowden is chair of the Tory party.

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