Star comment: Slogans galore but where are the policies?

The cost of living is hitting people in the pocket.

While those in power are adept at creating new slogans, policy seems thin on the ground
While those in power are adept at creating new slogans, policy seems thin on the ground

The UK economy is being buffeted by the gale-force winds of our Covid recovery, the war in Ukraine and the impact of Brexit. Together, those factors mean we have the lowest growth in the advanced G20 nations, other than Russia.

The figures are worrying but, given the cost pressures we are all experiencing, they come as no great surprise. It does, however, reinforce concerns about the vulnerability of our economy at the moment.

The danger is that we slip into recession. Much of this can be attributed to the wider global picture, but the pressure on the Government, and Rishi Sunak in particular, will continue to grow as spiralling costs heap pressure on businesses and families.

There are huge challenges facing the Government and while those in power are adept at creating new slogans, policy seems thin on the ground. The policy of austerity seems to be both off the table and not viable, given the manner in which public services were hollowed out during the Cameron-Osborne years. There is little room for manoeuvre.

The cost of living is hitting people in the pocket and the number of vulnerable adults who now have to choose between heating and eating is increasingly disturbing. The rapid growth of the economy post-Covid has not materialised, while hard data is increasingly making clear the true costs of Brexit.

Without the room to grow our economy and with so many people suffering the biggest fall in living standards in decades, we face straightened times. The Government seems to have few ideas and fewer concrete policies to tackle mounting difficulties.

Most people would agree with the ambition of increasing our resilience when it comes to food supply and growing and eating more of our own food, not to mention backing our farmers. The problems caused by a fractured supply chain during the past two years, not to mention the spiralling costs of transport and freight, make self-reliance increasingly important.

Worryingly, doubt is already being cast on whether the Government has gone far enough. Time will tell but, if the events of recent months have taught us anything, it’s that increasing our food security has to be a priority.

We need clearer detail on what has gone wrong and how we fix things. We must avoid a costly dependence on other nations, particularly as global politics have been so volatile in recent times. Ukraine makes it clear how dangerous it is to rely on the markets.

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