Boris Johnson has been criticised for reacting too slowly to foreign variant threats


Hols on hold

ADIOS for now to that holiday in Spain then.

Or Italy, or France, or anywhere most Brits actually want to go, after yesterday’s deflating update to the Government’s travel restrictions.

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Boris Johnson has been criticised for reacting too slowly to foreign variant threats[/caption]

Even lesser expectations of Finland or Malta being added to the green list turned out to be wishful thinking.

Instead Portugal was unceremoniously dropped to the amber list, despite recording just three Covid deaths and 769 new cases yesterday, amid concerns about a new “Nepal variant” there.

Boris Johnson has been criticised for reacting too slowly to foreign variant threats, so with the UK’s own progress out of lockdown in the balance, it is only fair swift action should be commended.

None of which will be much comfort to frustrated sunseekers, of course.

Above all we sympathise with airlines and travel firms, who have every right to be scathing about how their industry has been left stumbling blindly through an ever-shifting minefield.

Of course holidaymakers can still travel to those countries on the amber list, if they comply with the ten-day home quarantine on their return.

But add that to the costly Covid tests, hours of airport queues and being at the mercy of last-minute rule changes, and the hassle increasingly outweighs the benefits.

Aid & subtract

THIS paper argued for years that locking Britain into spending an arbitrary 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid — regardless of effectiveness — was folly.

The economic hammer blow of the pandemic made the case undeniable, triggering a cut to 0.5 per cent.

PA

Tory rebels, including former PM Theresa May, want to reverse locking Britain into spending an arbitrary 0.7 per cent of GDP on foreign aid[/caption]

Now a group of MPs, including 30 Tory rebels, want to reverse this rare outburst of common sense.

They cite numerous worthy causes our aid cash DOES help around the world.

They are less keen to mention all the infamous wasteful schemes, such as the £5.2million for an Ethiopian version of the Spice Girls, or the cash creamed off by despots and shadowy intermediaries.

Last November a YouGov poll found two-thirds of the public — and 92 per cent of Conservative voters — supported cutting the foreign aid budget.

In the same week the Government said it could only afford £1.4billion to help our own schoolkids catch up on lost learning, we doubt that support has shrunk.

Slash & earn

PAY more tax, get less for it.

That’s the new mantra for greedy councils, busily plotting to slash services with one hand as the other roots deeper and deeper into our pockets.

Alamy

Greedy councils are busily plotting to slash services with one hand as the other roots deeper and deeper into our pockets.[/caption]

The pandemic is, of course, one reason for councils’ precarious finances.

How long do you think it will take for the 2,800-plus town hall fatcats earning over £100,000 to spot the other one?

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