Steve Allen 4am - 7am
Analysis: Boris Johnson is a Prime Minister who appears surrounded by problems
5 October 2021, 11:31
From the petrol crisis, to energy prices sky-rocketing, the issues in his in-tray are mounting, and they’re not going away.
Added to that, the PM and Chancellor have faced repeated calls to extend the £20-a-week Universal Credits uplift.
But here in Manchester, Mr Johnson is not in the mood for changing his mind, insisting in his interview with Nick Ferrari that it would wrong to increase taxes to continue to pay for the uplift in Universal Credit.
The answer instead, in the Prime Minister’s view, is to ditch the old model of the past and move towards a high-skilled, high-wage economy.
That is easier said than done. And if inflation is to be avoided, it cannot simply be solved by companies paying higher wages. Instead, UK plc needs to become more productive, with better infrastructure - a problem recognised by the PM.
Now while wages have started to rise as we have come out of the pandemic, those increases have been absorbed by inflation that now stands at more than 3%.
And improving our productivity is a problem governments of various hues have grappled with over the years.
It is certainly not something that will be solved over the course of this winter, and by the time we reach the early part of next year the calculation from Labour’s view will be that many voters will not be too bothered by long-term solutions but will want quick fixes to their problems.