IMPORTANT: It is clear there are many still not following the national guidance. It is vital that you stay at home where you can at this crucial time and take seriously the advice from the NHS. Take social distancing seriously. The reasons for this can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yag1ZC8ozKM
Evictions The Government has announced emergency legislation to prevent landlords commencing eviction proceedings within a three-month period. Whilst this is a welcome step, it is as yet unclear whether this will apply to existing claims or what the long-term implications will be. The long-term implications of rent build up is severe and I hope that this is clarified soon.
Self Employed and Universal Basic Income The Government have announced measures to support those who have lost hours at work to the tune of 80%. Whilst this measure is welcome, we know that there are many who even a loss of 20% of their income will cause severe financial hardship and in many cases poverty. This measure alone is not enough to see us through the current crisis.
There are currently no provisions for the self-employed. This is a vast group which covers not only those who run and sustain their own businesses and sole traders but also those who work for large organisations as ‘self-employed.’
I organised a letter signed by 175 MPs and Peers arguing for Universal Basic Income as an emergency measure to help people through the current crisis. You can read my article in the independent HERE: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-universal-basic-income-uk-jobs-mps-lords-boris-johnson-a9413846.html
Cremation: The bill states that if there is no capacity for burials cremations will be used without seeking permission. After extensive lobbying and an amendment by Bradford MP Naz Shah it is expected Government will concede something around this. This should say as far as possible councils need to take people’s wishes into account
Parliament Today the Government is bringing the Coronavirus Bill through the House of Commons. I have been working with the Labour front bench and cross party MPs on amendments. As my attendance at the bill is considered un-necessary by the Whips and Parliamentary Authorities and the strong advice is not to attend and put people at risk, I will not be attending Parliament and will be monitoring and influencing proceedings from Leeds. I took part in a one hour long zoom call with the Labour frontbench this morning.
My Office still continues to function remotely. Our contact details remain the same and provisions for surgeries will be announced soon.