Concerns at impact of restrictions on communities
On December 2, the UK returned to the tier system of restrictions, with Wansbeck being placed into Tier 3.
MPs were given a vote on the restrictions, and alongside the rest of the Labour Party, I abstained on this vote.
The vote is based on a take it or leave it deal which is unamendable, meaning it was either this deal or no restrictions at all.
Without any restrictions, we run the risk of the virus running riot in our communities, and potentially overwhelming our region’s hospitals causing a catastrophic health crisis.
Nonetheless, I remain deeply concerned about the effects these tight restrictions will have for businesses and individuals in our community.
It is absolutely essential that financial support is guaranteed for those who need it the most.
No one should be left with no job or support because of a virus that was not their fault and has been made worse by this government’s handling of the crisis.
This must include maintaining the £20 rise in Universal Credit and increasing the rate of statutory sick pay for those who have lost their jobs or are forced to isolate.
There must also be guaranteed support for the hospitality sector. Unless support is guaranteed while they are forced to remain closed, many pubs and restaurants will shut down all together, costing hundreds of jobs in Wansbeck
In the meantime, please stay safe and follow the guidelines so we can continue to bring the infection rate here in Wansbeck down.
Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP