An Urgent Question was granted on police funding and I wanted to see if we could get a straight answer from the minister on cuts.
We were told austerity has ended, but the Red Book – which details the Budget’s spending – stated that the Home Office will be cut by £100,000,000 next year. If the UK Government can’t say where these cuts are going to fall we must all be worried that they will hit our neighbourhood police officers the hardest.
If the Government do not properly fund our law enforcement agencies, like security services and the police, properly we will see crime continue to rise.
An Urgent Question was secured today by the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee to ask what plans were in place for EU nationals in the case of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit – where we crash out of the EU without any transitional arrangements.
I wanted to know if the UK Government will be using the same criteria they use for non-EU nationals for EU nationals going forward. This would mean that people’s income would be used to block them entry to the UK.
If, for example, a UK national married an EU national their partner would not be able to live in the UK, no matter if they had children or not, if they did not earn enough per year. All the minister needed to do was to reassure people that they will not see their families broken up. Instead she chose to muddy the waters and say plans will be set out in the future.
Let me remind you that we leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The minister has a little under five months left.
The UK Government’s public sector pay deal announced today is not good enough. It was announced that police officers would receive a 2% increase in pay, but with no central funding it will merely place more pressure on local constabularies.
According to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales the staffing and employee budget for the force totalled £127,092,000 for 2018/19. When you increase that funding by the 2% promised by the UK Government it means that North Wales Police will need to find £2,541,840 to increase police officers pay. As this money will be coming out of the limited budgets already held by North Wales Police it means that there will be limited funding available for recruitment, which is much needed. Read more “Police Pay Settlement”
The Home Office have started to announce the process through which EU nationals will be able to apply for settled status following Brexit.
I have been long concerned that the Government doesn’t have the plans in place to give EU nationals – people who are our neighbours, friends and colleagues – the right to reside in the UK when we leave the EU.
There are a number of constituents who have contacted me where they find themselves in the situation where their partner is currently working in another EU nation and don’t know if they will fall within the 5 year residency test the Government is putting in place – but they may have only been away on work for a month.
I wanted to stress that the Government take this into account with their processes to ensure that families are not split up.