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The UK has a new PM- so what?

 

The UK has a new PM- so what?

 

 Boris Johnson has been elected as the new Leader of the Conservative Party and by default the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

 

A former foreign secretary, BoJo was voted in via a huge majority of the Conservative Party, against Jeremy Hunt, promising to leave the European Union (with or without a deal) by October. (Read more about the EU and Brexit here)  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

 

Winning by 92,153 to 46,656- Boris promises to make Brexit happen:

 

 ‘I think you know that we can do it [Brexit] and that the people in this country have trust in us to do it and we know that will do it.’

 

But what does Boris intend to do and what does this mean for us?

 

Main policies:

 

  • He plans to move away from  Britain's 585-page Withdrawal Agreement with the EU and instead look at "alternative arrangements" to keep the Irish border open, later in time. 

(Leaving with no deal at all would mean higher taxes on food and higher prices generally. The pound could potentially fall as well, weakening our overall position. Some forecasters have suggested food shortages would be expected)

 

  • He promised a massive tax cut for high earners - by moving the threshold when the 40% Income Tax kicks in from £50,000 to £80,000 a year. Experts said it would cost £9bn and help the richest 10%. 

(So sounds good but actually bad for 90% of people)

 

  •  He later said he'd prioritise tax cuts for the lowest paid, starting with a raise to what people can earn before paying National Insurance. He doesn't specify how he will pay for this, though 

(good news but is that a reality?)

 

  • He pledged to cut Stamp Duty if he takes power. Reports suggested that could include raising the threshold from £125,000 to £500,000. 

(Stamp duty is what you pay when you buy a house. Great news for those who can afford to. Not so great for those that can't. Is this really relevant right now?)

 

  • He told Tory members the health service needs "more money" and "reform" but did not immediately spell out what this meant. He ruled out a pay-for-access (like in America) NHS under his watch if there's a post-Brexit trade deal with the US. 

(Ruled it out.. yet Trump is pretty convinced that Boris being in power is an open door for the US to the UK which spells bad news for everyone)

 

  • He announced plans for an Australian-style points system for migrants to the UK. But he also said he'd be "much more open" for so-called high-skilled migrants. (Personally, I'm a fan if the points system. It works well for skilled migrants and is a fair and just way of assessing visitors, providing it is executed effectively and is flexible enough)

 

  • He said police need more money to get officers on the streets and made a pledge to increase numbers by 20,000 by 2022. He backs stop-and-search and pledged to give police the political protection "to do what they signed up to do". 

(Plot twist: all police officers need to obtain a degree (College of Policing), I wonder if he's factored that in with costing and forecasting?)

 

  • Welfare, one of the biggest issues facing our society today, specifically students. Lack of access to mental health provision and a poverty divide so large that food banks are a normal occurrence. How about disabled students who cannot access basic necessities due to lack of funding? Boris Johnson doesnt have any major policies on anything welfare related (weird that, yet has a plan to improve all the ways RICH people get taxed) except supporting Universal Credit and its 5 week waiting lists pushing people toward suicide and food banks 

 

  • The new prime minister has also vowed to give judges the power to force criminals who have committed violent or sexual offences (in some circumstances) to remain in prison for their full sentence. (That sounds like a positive thing, however, research tells us that this does not rehabilitate but actually the opposite. What we would have is a generation of offenders who have been hardened by spending longer in prison than necessary, costing us ££££ for pleasure.) 

 

Overall- and I'm going to try and remain neutral here, Boris Johnson isn't a brilliant thing for the country at first glance. Democracy requires someone who represents the people. I can't speak for everyone, but at this point in time- as a postgraduate student, single mother on Universal Credit and feminist , BoJo is not someone I would have voted for. Period.

 

BUT!

 

One great thing to come from him taking up office...Brexit will happen! (that's not the good news..) but it will mean we can actually start talking about things which actually matter.

 

Like what? 

 

Hows about the new bill just passed in the US which allows for deportation WITHOUT judicial proceedings. They can literally remove people from the country without anyone to represent them. Is no one else scared by that? Perhaps this is the next blog post… international affairs.

 

I think that's enough politics for one day- but do keep an eye on it, this is YOUR country too and you have a vote ???? 

 


*This blog is an opinion piece and the views expressed are my own and not those of CCSU

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