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News from Westminster

October 9, 2020 11:16 PM

Economy grows less that expected and 9.2% smaller than before pandemic

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to extend furlough before any new lockdowns are ordered as new figures reveal growth in August was slower than the expansion seen in both June and July.

  • The whole UK has made a tremendous effort to battle the virus. Unfortunately it's clear that the path to recovery is rockier than everyone would have hoped.
  • Rishi Sunak needs to open his eyes to the fact that people need more support. The economy isn't reopening, it's about to face new business shut-downs. He must change course and announce an extension of the furlough scheme before any new lockdowns are ordered.
  • We are looking at a difficult winter ahead. Government had a duty to protect every possible job and every business it tells to close. No-one must be left behind.

Govt must grant EU citizens proof of settled status

The latest Home Office figures reveal thousands are being refused settled status, and 1.8 million have not been granted the right to stay permanently.

  • EU citizens in the UK - our families and friends - have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for far too long. They must have the right to stay.
  • Boris Johnson and the Conservatives promised to automatically guarantee the rights of EU citizens to stay, but they have broken that promise, as they have with so many others.
  • This Government's botched scheme is anything but automatic and, without physical proof of their rights, EU citizens will be at the mercy of the Conservatives' Hostile Environment.
  • To prevent a new Windrush-style scandal, Liberal Democrats are fighting for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, with the physical proof they need.

NHS now under "unbearable" pressure due to Tory cuts

Figures published yesterday reveal that the number of people waiting over a year for hospital treatment has hit a 12-year high in England.

  • People will be appalled at the thought that vital care may be delayed or unavailable due to Covid. But with winter fast approaching, these figures show that the pressure on the NHS has become unbearable.
  • Years of cuts stretched our NHS to breaking point even before Covid. Now we are seeing one crisis layered onto another.
  • The Conservatives must commit now to ensuring the NHS has whatever funding it needs and put in place a plan to rapidly overcome this growing backlog.
  • As we head into a second wave with growing numbers of people being admitted to hospital with Covid, there also needs to be a clear strategy to ensure cancer care and treatment of other serious illnesses are not neglected.

Lib Dems call on Govt to commit to counselling provision across secondary schools

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to commit to funding counselling provision in all English secondary schools and colleges to deal with the "profound impact" of Covid on young people.

  • Children have suffered a huge amount of disruption this year and with so much continuing uncertainty it's no surprise that a number of young people are experiencing mental ill health, often for the first time.
  • Schools are best placed to provide rapid access to mental health support, but they simply don't have the resources to do so.
  • Providing access to counselling in schools would be a lifeline to many young people, allowing them to get the support they need before they reach crisis point. This early intervention will prevent mental health issues from worsening and hopefully reduce the numbers who need more extensive support further down the line.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to invest in the future by prioritising access to counselling for children and young people who are already dealing with so much.
The Weekly Whip