Fighting for Public Sector workers and highlighting that Cancer is still here - a busy week before Christmas! - Weekly Update 19/12/2020
It may be the last full week before Christmas but it’s still been a busy one! In Parliament, I presented an e-petition debate on behalf of all those who signed it on the vital issue of pay and conditions of key workers and public sector employees. This built on my previous work campaigning for decent pay for those who have given us so much throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. But what is so important about these Westminster Hall debates is the chance make these points straight to the minister responsible and call for action now, not later.
This has been a tough year for many of us; there is no escaping that. As 2020 comes to a close we have the chance to reflect on the year, but most importantly it gives us an opportunity to think about how we can make the next year better. For too long the UK Government has squeezed the wages of those in the public sector. When given the chance to give a real term pay increase, they have decided to take little to no action. This has been disastrous for communities like ours and has helped towards the horrific site of in work poverty soaring under this Conservative UK Government.
When we consider everything that is amazing about our country, we would be hard pressed not to mention our teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers and care workers. They are the lifeblood of our nation. Keeping things going in some of the most challenging situations and I think we can all agree that 2020 has been one of the hardest in memory. That is why the Welsh Labour Government wanted to give thanks to our care home workers with a £500 bonus earlier on in the year. But the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer taxed them on it, with those on Universal Credit suffering a double whammy.
But not to be outdone by his own uncompassionate response to our care workers, the Chancellor has announced a pay freeze for public sector workers. I made it very clear in my speech in Parliament that this is completely wrong, and I will continue to do so until this is put right.
This week I also wanted to remind constituents across Gower what they can do to keep an eye out for the signs of cancer. Sadly, cancer hasn’t gone away during this pandemic - and it’s not going away over Christmas. It now affects one in two of us in our lifetimes and that is why it is so crucial to break down stigma and talk about how we can keep ourselves healthy.
It’s really important that if you noticed any unexplained changes to your body, like blood in your pee or poo, changes in your bowel habits, a new lump or persistent bloating or pain that doesn’t go away you should seek support from your GP. People sometimes think a change in their body is not worth bothering their GP about, or you may be a bit embarrassed to talk about it. But no, that’s wrong. It’s crucial that you get all your lumps and bumps checked. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. So, if you are experiencing any changes do contact your GP as soon as you can. You can find out more by visiting the NHS’s website.
You can keep up to date with Welsh Government announcements and information on their dedicated coronavirus page. If you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01792 899025. My office is not open, my staff and I are working from home, but my email and phone are still being monitored and responded to. You may experience a slight delay in receiving a response from us as the demand has increased, but we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Stay safe, keep well, and have a good Christmas. Here’s to a brighter 2021.