This week I joined Macmillan Cancer Support to discuss their new report on the financial impact of cancer entitled ‘Cancer – A Costly Diagnosis?’
The report focussed on people’s individual experiences of the financial impact of cancer and highlights three particular policy areas; the implementation of Universal Credit, the support banks and building societies give people living with cancer and the cost of travel insurance.
One in two people born after 1960 will get cancer in their lifetime, and while the physical and emotional consequences of cancer are well-known, the financial impact of a diagnosis can be devastating and 4 in 5 people are, on average, £570 a week worse off as a result of their diagnosis. Read more “Supporting Macmillan Cancer Support”
Last week I joined over one hundred women, men and even some children primarily encompassing MPs, academics, think-tanks, charities and the media all of whom were gathered in Parliament in the Speaker’s House to celebrate Day of the Single Parent Family.
The annual day began in the United States in 1984. The event is expected to be the flagship meeting of the newly established All Party Parliamentary Group for Single Parent Families whose slogan is “I’m standing up for Single Parent Families because every family counts.”
In Delyn there are over 2,157 single parent families, which is 26% of all families. Read more “Supporting Single Parents”
As many of you will know, I am a proud member of the Trade Union that represents shopworkers: Usdaw. I am also chair of the Usdaw group of MPs in Parliament. We try to secure debates to ensure that the interests of Usdaw members and shopworkers are constantly being raised in Parliament and to ministers.
This week was no exception. A debate was secured on the future of retail and what the UK Government was doing to support those in this industry. We are two years in from the first announcement on the Government industrial strategy and they still have decided what they will do to support one of the largest private sector employers in the UK. Retail employs over 3million people directly.
I focused my speech on the impact of business rates, the lack of industrial strategy and the importance of working with Trade Unions, like Usdaw, to deliver the change we need.
Some of the most chronic reoffenders are those with drug and alcohol addictions. When I was Minister for Justice in the last Labour Government I ensured that we tackled this issue head on and ensured that drug and alcohol rehabilitation orders. We have seen a noticeable drop in the number of orders being placed on people.
The reason why this matters is because revolving door prison sentences are not effective for people with these problems. Short-term prison sentences mean that people do not gain access to the treatment they need and more often than not prison becomes a college of crime. Those sentenced for less serious offences learn more dangerous skills off hardened criminals and then utilise them on the streets when released.
Prison only works if we have the policies in place to make them work. We need to see an increase in drug and alcohol treatment orders to deliver safer communities.