The Chancellor’s announced more spending but still nothing for the forgotten freelancers. These are the hardworking taxpayers who are falling through the gaps in Government support. I’ve been clear that surviving on zero income is not a solution – these people cannot live on air alone.
I secured a debate on domestic abuse and black women. Smaller specialist organisations often do not have the finances or resources to bid for larger contracts. This has resulted in the erosion of black and minority ethnic specialist services. These services provide a lifeline for women when they are at their most vulnerable. We need greater representation of the needs of black women at policy level. No decision that disproportionately affects black women should be made without them.
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.
This week the Public Accounts Committee discovered that the Government never considered the economic effects of a pandemic during its 2016 pandemic preparations. It explains the many gaps in support, including for the forgotten freelancers, and why it is lurching from crisis to crisis.
I welcome Marcus Rashford’s excellent campaign shaming the Government into a U-turn so that vulnerable children do not go hungry over the summer.
I’m continuing to receive an unprecedented number of emails supporting Black Lives Matter. Thank you. We need to turn this anger into action and I look forward to working with you on how to create lasting and meaningful change.
It’s clear that for Hackney schools and workplaces to return safely, we need a test, track and trace system in place. I continue to make the case to Government that it needs to be done at the local level. In Hackney, we have the experience and capability to deliver. Our Council, community leaders and health professionals stand ready to help.
Hackney Council is facing a funding gap of up to £19 million. I know other councils in the UK are in a much worse position, with some (not Hackney) technically bankrupt.
Councils are a vital provider of frontline services. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government promised to pay back councils for all Covid-related emergency spending. There are now concerns the Government is backtracking from this. The Public Accounts Committee is on the case.
Hackney teachers and schools achieved a miracle when they transformed, in a matter of days, to teach and support students virtually. But the Government is letting them down by hinting at a physical return without any proper guidance or plans to keep students and teachers safe.
Parliament is still working but with a mixture of virtual and physically present, socially distant MPs.