Q. What are your hopes and fears for the New Year?
My biggest fear is that the omicron variant of covid-19 will overwhelm the country and the NHS and I will succumb to it in spite of being double vaccinated and boosted. Even my 17-year old son has had his booster vaccination. This outcome seems even more possible given that there are difficulties in accessing both lateral flow tests and PCR testing, whilst the government twiddle their thumbs and allow New Year celebrations to go ahead, in England at least. Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland and have taken a more sensible and cautious approach to events. It's vital that the government reintroduce all financial assistance for people and small businesses that were struggling. This means a restoration of the £20 a week universal credit uplift that was so cruelly taken away back in October. It needs to be reintroduced and extended to those of us on Legacy benefits who didn't receive anything in the first place. I mentioned previously it was premature to scrap the uplift and on this occasion I hate being proved right. Increasing Financial Assistance is the right thing to do do because with inflation increasing, households set to be £1200 worse off.