(issued by John Urquhart, Harmony Party general secretary)
The 20th of September.
A date which some will be looking to with dread and anxiety, as it is the date the twice-extended eviction moratorium ends.
This dread and anxiety is totally unnecessary.
As ever, Harmony UK is committed to our constitutional doctrine of least harm, as well as “suffering-focused ethics”: the belief that good governance arises not simply from ensuring the greatest economic growth & hoping “that’ll do” by some sort of wishy thinking, but by prioritising people, and the reductions of harms to them and theirs.
The eviction moratorium never went far enough in the first place. Hardships faced by those not covered by the Conservative’s interventions during the pandemic have meant that evictions may seem inevitable by the time the 20th of September actually rolls around.
And this isn’t just about individuals. The threat of mass evictions is a terrible one for the economy; a sudden surge in re-insurance claims will bruise an already bruised sector. This is to say nothing of the threat to business, especially small businesses, many of whom have had months of costs with no real income to speak of & not nearly enough support from the state.
This Conservative Government ideally must not simply extend the moratorium. It must be open and honest about when changes are coming, and how those changes will be applied. Sudden, unexpected U-turns – and there have been two on this issue already! – are ultimately poorly planned, even when desirable.
This country deserves good governance.
Perhaps most crucially of all, the Government could simply commit to UBI – at the very least in a mid-term implementation.
This could fairly easily ensure that no-one falls through any cracks at all. Ideally, this new system would wholly replace Universal Credit, perhaps even using some of UC’s infrastructure, rapidly repurposed by a tremendously skillful Civil Service which we in this country are very lucky to have, ending two great injustices in one fell swoop.
Failing that, the moratorium must be extended – and quickly. People must be able to plan ahead. They must be able to know their own future, because, ultimately, no British Government should ever take the right to self-determination out of the hands of the Great British public.
And this Government has done quite enough of that.