Next week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will deliver his long awaited Spending Review. After his Winter Economic Plan that didn't survive the autumn, and a chaotic summer, this is an opportunity for Rishi Sunak to set the trajectory of our fight against Covid-19 and the economic recovery over the next six months.
A principle of the UN sustainable development goals is to "leave no one behind", yet I fear this is what the Government will do.
There were gaping holes in the Government’s support packages in the first lockdown, especially for many self-employed people. Yet eight months on, there’s still no new help for those excluded from support since this crisis began.
This week I unearthed regional data that shows over 100,000 self-employed workers across the West Midlands have been excluded from support since March.
These workers are wealth creators, grafters, and entrepreneurs. They are a vital and valued part of our local economy, and should not lose out just because of their employment staus, or because they decided 2020 was the year to finally take a leap of faith and set up their own business.
You can read my letter to the Chancellor by clicking below.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is reportedly considering breaking his own manifesto commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. I was therefore pleased this week to have the opportunity to speak at the historic Chatham House and deliver a speech with AidEx. You can read my statement on the latest development news below.
Friday marked Equal Pay Day, the date in the calendar when women effectively start to work for free compared to men. On Tuesday, I was proud to speak to Labour Women's Parliamentary Network about the global picture for women during the pandemic. Women make up the majority of key workers on the front line, and are overrepresented in sectors that have been hit hardest by coronavirus. This Equal Pay Day, I am proud to champion Labour's 'right to know' policy, to ensure women aren't overlooked in the economic recovery.
A new round of grants become available next week for businesses which have lost income due to the coronavirus restrictions. Businesses that have previously been in receipt of grants will need to apply again. You can learn more about whether you are eligible and how to apply on Birmingham City Council's website below.
Last week I wrote to the Education and Health Secretaries asking them to bring forward support for young people to receive counselling in schools. With one recent survey finding 80% of young people report their mental health worsening during the covid-19 outbreak, now could not be a better time to address these gaps. Click to read my letter.