Labour secured an Urgent Question on the failed contract signed by the Transport Secretary with a ferry company who had no ferries.
During his statement, the Transport Secretary said that not one penny had been spent by his department in this terrible deal, which has now been cancelled. However, civil servants and lawyers aren’t free so it must have cost us taxpayers money.
I pressed the Minister as to how many civil servants and lawyers had worked on this contract and what cost it had to the taxpayer. As no answer was forthcoming I have tabled a series of Written Questions to the Secretary of State and will keep pushing for a response.
We cannot allow a government to mismanage our public finances. It was clear from the start that signing a contract with a company with no ferries, a copied and pasted contract from a takeaway and a business owner who owed HMRC tax that this was never going to work. Yet the Secretary of State ploughed ahead.
Not only has the UK Government given a contract to a ferry company that owns no boats and its terms and conditions were copied and pasted from a fast food takeaway, but it has become clear that the owner of this business owes money to HMRC.
I asked the Transport Secretary if he could confirm that the director of this company owes us, the taxpayer, £580,000 and what due diligence he took to ensure that we don’t give contracts for government business to companies who do not pay their taxes.
The Transport Secretary decided to keep quiet. This is appalling. The Government is being farcical and putting our economy at risk because they are not undertaking basic background checks.
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.