I have pledged his support to unpaid carers across Delyn as part of Carers Week 2019, running from 10-16 June.
Carers Week is a national awareness week that celebrates and recognises the vital contribution made by those caring unpaid for someone living with an illness, disability, mental health condition or as they grow older. Research released for Carers Week suggests there could be many more people than previously thought acting as unpaid carers to their family and friends – as many as 8.8 million adult carers across the UK.
I attended an event in Parliament to celebrate the valuable contribution carers make locally.
The seven charities driving Carers Week 2019 are calling on individuals, organisations and services throughout the country to improve the lives of carers by getting carers connected to practical and financial support and are calling for a step change in the way society supports those caring unpaid for family and friends. Read more “Carers Week 2019”
Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPPs) were introduced by the last Labour Government from 2005. They were designed to ensure that dangerous violent and sexual offenders stayed in custody for as long as they presented a risk to society. Under the system, a person who had committed a specified violent or sexual offence would be given an IPP if the offence was not so serious as to merit a life sentence. Once they had served their “tariff” they would have to satisfy the Parole Board that they no longer posed a risk before they could be released.
IPPs were abolished in 2012, but not for existing prisoners.
There were 2,403 unreleased IPP prisoners in custody in England and Wales on 31 March 2019, which is the latest snapshot of the prison population at the time of writing. Ninety-eight per cent or 2,360 of these prisoners were male. There were only 43 unreleased female IPP prisoners.
I asked the Minister a series of questions on how he would ensure that any flaws remaining in the system were rectified and balanced with the need to keep dangerous offenders off our streets. We must always put the victim at the heart of our judicial system.
Labour secured an Urgent Question this week to hold the UK Government to account for the loss of free TV licences for over-75s announced this week. From June 2020 only those who claim Pension Credit will be eligible.
I raised my deep frustration that the Government was blaming the BBC for this decision. It is worth keeping in mind that it took an Act passed by Conservative MPs – Labour voted against it – to force the BBC to have responsibility for this welfare policy. At the time we said that it amounted to a smash and grab on the BBC budget and would cause financial hardship for pensioners. The Government ignored us and carried on regardless. Now we are in the position where a benefit created by Labour in 1999 will not see its twentieth anniversary because of Conservative cuts.
I wanted the Secretary of State to explain to me what he was going to do for the 3,810 households who will lose the free TV licence in Delyn and how the Government is going to plug the gap left in our local economy as £573,405 per year will be taken out of these pensioners pockets.
Let us be clear. The Conservative Party promised everyone at the last General Election that free TV licences for over-75s would remain in place for the duration of this Parliament. We are no more than two years in and they have broken that promise to you.
During an interview with LBC radio the Home Secretary stated that he would spend £500million, plus annual costs, on the Northern Ireland border. This was without scrutiny from Parliament or publication of the figures for wider consultation.
It would appear that this number was plucked out of thin air during the interview to ensure a favourable reaction in his bid to be the next Prime Minister. We cannot run our government in this way.
That is why I raised these figures in the House of Commons. The Secretary of State didn’t answer my question and instead hid behind his Minister of State for Security who tells us that the Home Secretary has no recollection of these figures and asked that I write to him.
I have done just that, with a copy of the quotes from the interview. I hope that this will jog the memory of the Home Secretary and we can get some honest answers.