Tele column 4th January 2019

There will be no time allowed to ease into this political New Year. It has already hit the ground running and before the end of January decisions shall have been made that will make the political landscape a lot clearer. Brexit should come to a head on the 17th of January and once the dust has settled then the path or paths forward will be decided. It is impossible to predict exactly what the outcome will be. The last two years have been a shambles in terms of negotiations and planning for withdrawal from the European Union, which does not fill me full of hope. But my inbox is dominated by two topics. Brexit and Universal Credit. As Inverclyde was one of the first to start rolling out U.C. we are now over two years into the process and over 4,000 people in Inverclyde are experiencing it. It has proven inadequate as a social security system and has been woefully underfunded from the start. Problems in the processes continue to undermine the good it could be doing and rather than stop and fix the system the Conservative and Unionist U.K. government is now moving the remaining people on the legacy system onto U.C. This will mean over 7,000 additional recipients in Inverclyde alone. Based on the evidence I have seen in my constituency office since November 2016 , I fear things are about to get a lot worse. Of course such a bleak future is just one possibility. The future is ours to write and given the powers, the mindset and the opportunity, the future for Scotland and generations of Scots can be brighter, braver and bolder. We just have to take the opportunity when it comes and it is coming.

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