Stop the tax credit cuts! : My Week: 23rd – 29th October
In the Chamber
I was very pleased late Monday evening when we received news that the House of Lords had blocked the government’s plans to cut tax credits. Now the pressure is on the government to adjust their plans and reverse the planned cuts, and I’ll be pressuring them to do so at every opportunity.
On Tuesday I went to Chancellor’s questions to watch George Osborne squirm under the questions of opposition MP’s as to what he plans to do now that the level-head Lords down the corridor have rejected the government’s assault on tax credits. We still received no clear-cut response to what will happen next.
I was in the Chamber on Wednesday afternoon to listen to David Cameron unbelievably fail to answer the same question six(!!) times. I think it’s safe to say the Prime Minister cannot play or pass on this… I tried to bob and ask him whether he would be honest and tell us how many children will be thrown into poverty by his tax credit cuts, unfortunately the Speaker didn’t choose me again, better luck next week!
On Thursday I intervened in Frank Field’s debate sympathising with the whole of the opposition when I said we are confused about what the government plans to do next. I did mention that there was one clear thing though, ‘in Neath, we have more than 6000 families on tax credits, and more than 5000 families with children, and these measures will drive them into poverty.’
The Welsh Affairs committee sat for the first time in public since the recess on Monday. We had a chance to question the Welsh Secretary, Stephen Crabb, about the issues raised in the Draft Wales Bill. I asked him ‘What guidance did you give your ministerial colleagues?’ He replied that he ‘did give clear guidance and instruction to Whitehall departments…thinking about devolution in a serious way.’ He explained that he ‘did ask government departments to give us a rationale for why they think certain items are reserved or not reserved.’
Out and about around the constituency
After a long week in London, I attended the Neath CLP’s Women’s Forum on Friday evening. We spent it planning our trip to the Welsh Labour Women’s Conference in Llandrindod at the end of November. I’m looking forward to a weekend away with all you ladies!
On Saturday despite it being rainy, our hardy group of campaigners were out once again in support of our Assembly candidate Jeremy Miles. We also got people to sign Labour’s petition to Stop the Tax Credit Cuts as well as encouraging people to register to vote. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t done it yet to sign the petition at:
Also make sure you’re registered to vote, it only takes 2 minutes but ensures your voice is heard on election day. Visit the registration website at:
On Sunday I headed up to Seven Sisters with Jeremy to watch the Seven Sisters Ladies Youth team play against the Ammanford Ladies Youth. I was so pleased to see them win 22-15. Well done girls, your mascot is proud of you!
On Wednesday I attended Stephen Kinnock’s debate on the implementation of the transforming rehabilitation programme. There were a great contributions from several members and I intervened on Liz Savile-Roberts, the Plaid Cymru member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, whether schemes like this, one of which is working hard in the constituency to break the cycle of drug interventions, ‘are all the more important in areas of Wales where we rely on the support of the Welsh government.’
Weekdays around Westminster
This week I showed my support for the cancer pledge signing event. I signed the pledge to support new and exciting advances in the treatment of cancer which offer patients the prospect of improved long-term survival from cancer across a range of tumour types. The event was jointly hosted by Melanoma UK, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the James Whale Fund for Kidney Cancer and supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
I was delighted to ask about mental health support for coaches when I attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sport on Tuesday afternoon at their event for the Sport + Recreation Alliance’s #sportminds campaign. It is a delight to support this campaign which doesn’t get enough coverage as it deserves.
On Wednesday evening I was delighted to support Neath’s very own Paprika in the Tiffin Cup, the competition to find the best curry in the UK. It was named as one of the 13 finalists and was in fact the only curry house in Wales to make the final. I’m absolutely delighted they have been crowned Welsh champions for 2015 and I’ll be fully behind them again next year to see if they can go a step further. Congratulations to the whole team at Paprika for doing so well!
This week I’ve added a few statutory instruments to amend bills including the Civil Legal Aid Regulations 2015 and the English Apprenticeships Order 2015.