The Government’s slow and incoherent response to this pandemic and their muddled road map to get us out the other side could hit areas like ours hardest. The early failure to recognise the scale of this crisis means we are already paying the economic price. 

The window is closing to protect people’s livelihoods and we need an urgent package of economic measures in response, with a clear focus on jobs, jobs, jobs.

 

Up to 31st May 2020, 13,000 jobs had been furloughed through the Government's Job Retention Scheme in Dagenham and Rainham constituency, equivalent to around 19% of the population aged 16-64. 21% had been furloughed in the UK.

A further 7,300 claims were made to the Self Employment Income Support scheme, equivalent to 70% of the potentially eligible population.  This compares to a take up rate of 70% of the potentially eligible population in the UK as a whole.

Claimant Count

 

Over the last few weeks as the nation eases out of lockdown Government have suggested a number of options to help the economic recovery. One of the suggestions is to temporarily extend Sunday trading hours for up to one year. Usdaw, the shopworkers union have slammed the proposals and have launched the ‘Keep Sunday Special’ campaign in response.

 

38 cross-party MPs, including Jon Cruddas have backed a campaign started by Virendra Sharma MP which calls on the Government to increase the pay of social care workers and nurses to at least the living wage, in recognition of their immense effort during the coronavirus public health emergency.

 

Monday 8th June marked the start of Carers Week 2020. It is estimated that due to the Coronavirus crisis over 4.5 million people became unpaid carers in a matter of weeks, helping to support elderly and/or otherwise vulnerable people in society. 

Care homes have also been a focus in recent weeks due to the initially undocumented levels of contraction and death from Covid-19, and the lack of Personal Protective Equipment which left many carers and residents at risk.

 

Jon Cruddas MP writes a monthly opinion piece for the Romford Recorder. This month (June 2020) Jon has shared his thoughts on the campaign against the Belvedere waste incinerator, air quality, human health and the climate emergency. The column is due to be published on Friday 12 June, but in light of World Environment Day 2020 Jon has agreed with the RR to share today (June 5). See below.

*STARTS*

 

This week Jon Cruddas MP has been contacted by a number of constituents raising awareness of the You Can Save Me campaign being led collaboratively by The Children’s Society and the National Police Chiefs’ Council. The campaign shines a light on the exploitative and abusive treatment of children during lockdown – outlining how people can help report such behaviour.

 

Monday 1st June marked the start of Volunteers’ Week 2020, a week dedicated to raising awareness of the contribution made by volunteers across the United Kingdom. This year it is even more important to mark the occasion in light of the thousands of volunteers across the country stepping up their activities in the face of Covid-19.

 

The past week has been filled with discussions about children returning to school next month. Many people including I would support this move if the Government could guarantee the safety of teachers, staff, and our young people. As of yet they are unable to do this. The National Education Union have set out five tests that the Government must meet before they will support the wider reopening of schools;

1-     The new case count must be much lower than it is now, with a sustained downward trend.

 

This week Jon Cruddas MP caught up with Nicola Dawn Bullman from Dagenham, the lady responsible for creating the rock gardens in Beam Valley and Beam Parklands. Since lockdown began the rock gardens have been an opportunity for people to come together and leave messages of hope for one another. Many have painted rocks in memory of loved ones lost to the virus.

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