Tomorrow at 10am, I'll be questioning officials from the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, UNISON, and Care England on how effective the Government was in supplying their frontline health and social care workers at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Watch the full hearing from 10am by clicking here

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Good news this week with the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine.

But there's still a long way between the approval of a vaccine and its roll-out, with plenty of logistical challenges. I'll continue pressing the Government to ensure it gets this right and, crucially, provides more detail about the logistics so we can all plan ahead.

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Due to the economic uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chancellor abandoned plans for a long-term Comprehensive Spending Review (which would have allocated departmental spending for the next three years) in favour on a one-year spending review, allocating funding to government departments for the year from March 2021. The economic forecast, produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, made for grim reading. The UK is facing a 11.3 per cent economic contraction – the largest for three hundred years and the worst hit of the G7 (the seven largest economies).

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Many FE colleges are struggling financially, with concerns raised by the National Audit Office and Ofsted about the resulting impact on students' education.

 

This Thursday at 10am, the Public Accounts Committee will be challenging officials from the Department for Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency on how they'll support colleges to retrain and reskill people for the post-COVID jobs market.

 

Click here to watch the hearing in full.  

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This week I focused on a report from the National Audit Office that called out the Government's approach to contracting during the first stage of the COVID-19 crisis. There was a lack of transparency, poor or non-existent record-keeping, and a failure to safeguard against conflicts of interest. I'll be investigating with the Public Accounts Committee in December. Click here to read the report in full. 

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The hidden homeless crisis is also a public health crisis.

 

I'm working with Karen Buck, the MP for Westminster North, to press the Government for a new Housing Market Package. This would create a Government-backed fund for local authorities and housing associations to buy up unsold private homes.

 

I'll keep pressing the case. 

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