Questions to the Prime Minister
Over recent weeks I’ve taken the opportunity to question the Prime Minister on three important policy issues: support for the steel industry, funding for Welsh Government and our councils, and access to benefits for terminally ill people.
Support for the UK steel industry
At Prime Minister’s Questions I pressed Boris Johnson on the critical need for liquidity support for the UK steel industry which has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, and highlighted the potential for Newport’s steelmakers to play a key role in the national recovery from coronavirus, which has presented huge challenges for the sector. This will need action from the government to ensure procurement of UK steel for major construction and infrastructure projects like HS2 and an auto scrappage scheme. We also need to see a long term industrial strategy that has UK steel at its heart. You can read more on my question and the Prime Minister’s response here.
Funding for Welsh Councils
I also responded to the Prime Minister’s statement to the Commons on June 23rd by calling on the UK Government to address to provide address a £170 million shortfall in funding for Welsh councils as part of the Government’s response to the ongoing pandemic. Council workers have gone above and beyond to keep key services going during this incredibly challenging time. Its vital that the UK Government provides more funding to the Welsh Government to pass on to our councils. In his response – which strangely seemed to focus on Scotland rather than Wales – the Prime Minister failed to acknowledge the very real concerns Welsh councils have about their financial recovery from the ongoing pandemic. You can read more on my question in the South Wales Argus coverage here.
Benefits for people with terminal illnesses
During the last Prime Minister’s Question time in June, I also raised the important issue of access to benefits for people with terminal illnesses
. As I highlighted in my question, in order to access benefits quickly, people with unpredictable terminal conditions like Motor Neurone Disease are having to prove that they have six months or less left to live; and they risk losing their benefits altogether if they live longer than three years. A year has now passed since the government announced its review into access to benefits for the terminally ill, but there’s been no progress. The Prime Minister’s promised to write to me on the issue, so I will look forward to that response. I am also hoping to bring forward a ten minute rule to the Commons on this issue in September. You can read more about the campaign on my website here