The MP for Jarrow has called for a number of rapid social measures to protect constituents, as lawmakers prepare to vote on yet another lockdown bill.
Kate Osborne recognised the announcement of a third national lockdown since March 2020 was a ‘necessary’ decision, while noting that the Government had lost control of the rate of infections.
Critical care units in London and the South East have been operating at above 100% capacity since the Christmas week.
Ms Osborne echoed certain demands made by the MP for South Shields, Emma Lewell-Buck, who blasted Number 10’s “incompetence” in managing infections over recent months.
“The news of tighter restrictions is disappointing but unfortunately necessary, as the virus is clearly out of control. “Over the festive period, the relaxation of restrictions would not have helped and will have contributed to towards the increasing infection levels.”The Jarrow MP said
Ms Osborne told The Gazette towards the end of last year that she feared a “tsunami of redundancies” could be on the way in 2021, as the economic hangover from the pandemic begins to kick in across the borough.
She now argues the Government must prioritise disadvantaged schoolchildren and working residents, who have disproportionately borne the brunt of the economic fallout from covid.
Last year, food banks in the borough recorded a huge increase in demand for their emergency services, while predicting unprecedented levels of need in 2021.
The two MPs in South Tyneside have also highlighted the need to make provisions for schoolchildren in the area, as it was revealed last autumn that hundreds of disadvantaged pupils across the borough were denied IT support devices previously pledged by the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.
“We now need adequate support to be put in place for businesses who have to close and people who are forced out of work,” Ms Osborne added.
“IT equipment and broadband should be provided to all those children who need it as they continue to learn at home.
“There also desperately needs to be a significant increase in Statutory Sick Pay to ensure people who fall ill can afford to get through these difficult times with the correct support in place.
“The health, well-being and livelihoods of people should be the priority for this Government.”