Joanna Mills1's blog

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Coronavirus 

I’m a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, which will be holding hearings throughout the summer to learn lessons from the Government’s response so far to the virus, and make recommendations so that the UK is better prepared in the event of a likely second wave.   

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Parliament is now in recess for the summer, but it was a busy last few days. This is what I have been doing as your MP.

A fair deal for the self-employed 

I’ve been urging the Chancellor for months to close the gaps in the Covid self-employed income support scheme (SEISS) which have left millions with no financial support.  Last week, I helped the campaign group ExcludedUK take their campaign to the Treasury, where they presented a number of petitions representing some of those excluded from support.  

MAKING CARING VISIBLE

We’ve learned so much about the work of carers during this coronavirus crisis – their commitment and dedication and the value of what they do.

But there are still millions of people in the UK whose care work goes on behind closed doors.  They are the unpaid carers, looking after a family member of friend who has a disability, or a mental or physical illness, or who needs extra help as they grow older.

They are also essential workers, yet they often feel undervalued and unsupported.  No wonder, when Carer’s Allowance is an insulting £67.50 a week.

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Virtual Parliament

The move by the Government to end the virtual Parliament has been a shambles: made without any thought to how parliamentary scrutiny might work in a time of social distancing, nor with any consideration for the health of MPs and the staff on the parliamentary estate.  The long lines of MPs queuing to vote summed up the chaos.

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Much of my time is spent addressing the issues and difficulties caused by coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown, taking part in virtual meetings with organisations on the frontline of the response to the virus, and with those who are suffering some of the worst impacts.

But as the lockdown is eased, the conversation is growing louder about how we rebuild as a fairer, more equal and more sustainable society.

Cultural & creative industries in Brighton

WHEN TO RE-OPEN OUR SCHOOLS

I have had many messages on the issue of the re-opening of schools.  It’s been invaluable to hear directly from teachers and school staff working on the frontline, as well as from parents and carers.  I very much share your concerns and I have been working closely with the National Education Union during this crisis. 

The need for safety

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