Weekly Update – Friday 23 July 2020
On Monday I voted against the Trade Bill, which passed. I also voted for a number of amendments including NC4,11,17 and 8 which were designed to increase parliamentary scrutiny of Trade Deals protect existing regulations.
Sadly, those amendments did not succeed and the Government is now likely to have a lot of power to negotiate trade deals without oversight by the House of Commons and it will be the NHS, our Food Standards and Animal Welfare Standards which will be on the table when we negotiate trade deals with countries around the world.
This is the worst moment to cut our aid budget
On Wednesday the Foreign Secretary wrote to myself and other members of the International Development Select Committee to confirm that the Government is cutting aid budget by £2.9 billion. This comes a few weeks after the announcement that the Department of International Development is to be merged with the Foreign Office.
This is the worst possible moment for a cut to our aid budget – as the developing world faces multiple crises at once, including the debt crisis and the fight against COVID-19. A reduction in spending will make it more important than ever that development spending is targeted towards those who need it the most. I look forward to pressing the Foreign Secretory on this issue when Parliament returns from recess in September.
Arthritis sufferers need more support
Many of my constituents wrote to me this week about the impact that the lockdown has had on people with arthritis. Sadly, people suffering from Arthritis and Arthritis related illnesses have been unable to attend crucial appointments, have had surgeries delayed or cancelled and in some instances have struggled to obtain the medication they require.
It’s crucial the Government considers these secondary health impacts in responding to COVID-19. I’ve written to the North Middlesex Hospital NHS Trust to ask what action they are taking to include Arthritis Care in their plans to restart elective surgery.
I’m backing Unite’s campaign to save our airports
I know that many people in Edmonton work in the Aviation Sector and are going through a very difficult period at the moment as airlines begin to cut jobs and the industry struggles to adjust to a post COVID world. But some airlines, British Airways, in particular, are behaving disgracefully by firing staff just so that they can rehire them on lower salaries and with less security. That’s why this week I backed Unites campaign calling on the chancellor to extend the job retention scheme for the aviation sector.
Nobody expects the job retention scheme to continue indefinitely, but it’s clear that some sectors of the economy will still be unable to function normally when the scheme is due to end in September. It’s time the Chancellor dropped his one-size-fits-all approach and offered tailored support packages for different sectors, including the aviation sector.
We need to protect jobs and protect workers. That has to be the Government’s priority as we move into the next stage of the pandemic.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest update, if you have any issues that you would like to raise directly with me then please do email email@example.com. I’m always happy to help whenever possible.
Kate Osamor MP