Last week it was back to Parliament after conference recess, with a lot a legislation passing through Parliament in just a few days; the second reading of the Immigration Bill, Osborne’s Fiscal Charter and the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill. I also appeared on BBC Question Time.
The Immigration Bill contains various measures we support such as criminalising employers who exploit migrant workers and requiring banks to do more thorough checks when processing current accounts but it also will require landlords to do thorough immigration checks. The issue with this is the risk of discrimination as in the pilot area 27% of landlords said they would be less willing to rent their property to people with a non-English name. These are just a small number of the issues with the Immigration Bill.
On Wednesday, we had the return of Prime Minister’s Questions with Jeremy Corbyn highlighting the real issues for people particularly on housing and the cuts to tax credits. We also had the vote on the Chancellor’s Charter which would see future governments' hands tied in their ability to invest in infrastructure. I voted against it, frustrated that the chancellor is more interested in playing political games than tackling the fundamental issues in our economy.
On Thursday I was invited to speak on BBC Question time, alongside Amber Rudd MP,Roger Helmer MEP, Simon Shama and Rod Liddle. This was obviously my first time on the programme, we were asked about the EU, the refugee crisis, Tax Credit cuts and Grammar schools. It was unsurprising that most of the discussion was on the EU and the refugee crisis. I spoke about the EU’s role in ensuring our rights are protected at work, and the huge economic benefit we get from membership. I also pointed out the scaremongering coming from UKIP and the Conservatives about the threat of immigration to public services served primarily as a distraction from the real threat - decisions made by this Government to cut funding.
But the most important part of the programme was when one woman bravely spoke up about the impact the Tories' cuts to tax credits will have on her and her children. You can watch it here.