This week the Government has announced an easing of restrictions and licensing rules but it’s doing nothing to help local residents and councils left to clean up the mess. Local parks are fast-becoming mass beer garden free-for-alls with people urinating and defecating wherever they see fit and leaving behind mounds of rubbish. This must stop. And Government needs to help foot the bill for the policing and clean-up operations.
Also this week, the Public Accounts Committee scrutinised NHS and social care preparations for COVID-19, see here for a transcript of the hearing. A clear problem is the systemic poverty pay that is baked into NHS and social care funding models.
I challenged the Government on precisely this issue during a debate in Parliament. Many NHS trusts and hospitals, including Homerton hospital, depend upon low-paid workers and outsourced agency staff in order to remain financially solvent. This is unacceptable. Every person working in a hospital – from cleaners to doctors – face an increased risk of catching COVID-19; they all deserve to be paid a wage they can afford to live on.