Featured Video Play Icon

This week saw the delivery of the Gracious Speech from Her Majesty the Queen to Parliament. The Queen’s Speech in normal times is used by a government to put forward its legislative programme for the year ahead. But these are not normal times.

The Speech delivered a wish list of laws, none of them achievable as the government has a majority of minus 45. That means that there is no chance of many, if any, of these uncosted promises being implemented in the near future.

I my response to the Speech I noted there were some grounds for cross-party cooperation. Issues like ending trophy hunting of wild animals and bringing the Northern Ireland Assembly back online.

But there were many other aspects of the Speech which deeply worried me.

One was a proposal to introduce voter ID. This would mean that no one would be allowed to vote without government recognised identification. Now, if you just glance at this you may not think there is a problem. But when you look at the details you quickly see how this is actually a proposal to suppress the vote.

25% of the UK population doesn’t have a driving licence and/or passport. Currently, a passport costs £85 and a driving licence costs £34 (plus £10 more if you can’t apply online). This means that the most vulnerable people will be locked out of voting. Age UK has said that these proposals are ‘crazy’ and the Electoral Reform Society has pointed out that electoral fraud is minuscule and these policies are like a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

I also was deeply disappointed that no announcements were made on introducing laws to protect shopworkers from violence at work. 115 retail staff are attacked a day just for doing their job. We cannot continue with the madness of people being scared of going to work for fear of attack.

There was also no news on legislating on air weapons. The UK Government launched a review of air weapons on the 12 December 2017. That review closed in February 2018. We still haven’t had a response from the UK Government. I have constituents who have put in efforts to providing evidence for this review because they have lost loved ones. The discourtesy of the UK Government towards these families is appalling. We need action on protecting people from harm from air weapons.

I also raised concerns about the government’s plans on immigration. The most concerning are the words on Irish nationals. Since 1922 the UK and Republic of Ireland have operated a Common Travel Area. This means that Irish nationals can travel and work within the UK. When in government, we secured this even further in the Good Friday Agreement. This ensured that those who wanted to identify as Irish, British or both could do in Northern Ireland. Removal of the 1922 agreement would deeply divide communities in Northern Ireland and undermine lasting peace.

In all, this was a uncosted wish list by the Government. There was an opportunity to deliver radical policies to help people get on in life. Sadly, this was an opportunity missed.

By David Hanson MP / Uncategorized / / 0 Comments
Featured Video Play Icon

Labour secured an opposition day debate this week on the rising levels of inequality and poverty in our country and how this is placing a roadblock to social mobility.

I couldn’t help but raise my utter exasperation that at a time when we keep getting told there is no money left by the UK Government, one of the contenders for the job of Prime Minister – Boris Johnson MP – wants to give a tax cut to those earning between £50-£80,000.

At a time when unemployment in Delyn remains above 1,000 people for 9 consecutive months, over-75s are losing their free TV licences and child poverty in some wards is at 30% I believe there are much better uses for this money.

By David Hanson MP / Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Featured Video Play Icon

On Monday, I asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green MP, on the actions being taken by the Government to tackle youth unemployment.

As you know, recent figures showed that youth unemployment increased in Delyn in January 2017. This was a shocking failure by the UK Government in ensuring that the young people in Delyn have the jobs and opportunities that previous generations have had. If the Government fail to turn round this trend it could lead to a generation of people being locked out of work.

I called on the Government to ensure that the investment into the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is spread to North Wales. I have been part of the Mersey-Dee Alliance, a group of MPs, Councillors and businesses, who are campaigning for better links with the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

The Secretary of State did not comment on the rise in youth unemployment, which demonstrated to me a Government unwilling to invest in North Wales.