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HUW MERRIMAN MP NEWSLETTER
24th September 2020

Covid-19 update:  

This week the Prime Minister announced further restrictions in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. These include:

  • Work from home where possible.
  • From today all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only and must close at 10pm.
  • Face coverings must be worn by staff in retail, users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
  • Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined if rules breached.
  • From Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. However, up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now. 
  • Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will no longer be allowed to re-open.
 
I have been pushing for Parliament to debate, scrutinise and vote on new regulations. 


For the latest shielding and distancing guidance visit here.
 
Winter Economy Plan

In place of the usual Autumn Budget the Chancellor has today unveiled a Winter Economy Plan:
  • Government will contribute a third of worker's lost hours from 1 November for 6 months.
  • For those that are self-employed, the Government will also pay a third of their usual pay, if a third of their usual hours are worked.
  • ‘Pay As You Grow’ scheme will give businesses more time and flexibility to repay their loans.
  • Businesses will have longer to apply for Government loans schemes.
  • Businesses are able to spread their VAT bill over 11 repayments, with no interest.
  • Planned increase in VAT cancelled, keeping a lower rate of VAT of 5% for hospitality and leisure firms until 31 March 2021.

Read the new measures in full here.
Prime Minister's Statement

In Wealden and Rother, we’ve had just 4 covid cases per 100,000 residents so I asked the PM if he would consider unlocking low rate areas, like ours, if progress is made nationally. 

Watch here.
Committee Hears from Young Drivers

Our inquiry into Young and Novice Drivers continues in Parliament. Having listened to lots of older campaigners who want more restrictions on young drivers, we heard from students across the country who want to keep the same freedoms their parents enjoyed. 

Learn more about the inquiry here.
 
Constituency Cycling Tour Continues

I continued my cycling tour visiting Pevensey, Westham, Stone Cross, and Hankham meeting some amazing businesses who are struggling. We need to live with coronavirus, embed the risk and preserve jobs, livelihoods and our way of life.
 
Rule of Six

I urged Matt Hancock to exempt under 12s from the new rules and allow some flexibility.

Watch his response in the chamber here.
Internal Market Bill Amendment

The Government has amended parts of the Internal Market Bill that I could not support if it meant breaking international law. It means that the Prime Minister will have to consult Parliament before enacting those powers.

Read more detail here.
British Airways Fire and Rehire Update

Following on from our report on the aviation sector, the Chairman and CEO of British Airways, Alex Cruz, provided an update on British Airways' staffing plans. A welcome concession has been reached where the 'fire and rehire' proposals have been shelved for most employees of BA.

Watch here.

Public Transport Passenger Increase

The Transport Secretary provided some interesting statistics that showed 62% of workers were now going back to work and the railways had 42% of normal passenger levels back. These figures may, of course, now change following the new guidance.

Watch here.
Introducing the New BBC Director General 

I chaired a positive opening meeting with Tim Davie, new BBC Director General, and colleagues in Parliament for the All Party Parliamentary Group for the BBC.
 

 

Coronavirus Cases in Our Area

This tracker on the government website provides information on covid-19 cases. The BBC also provides up to date information on a weekly basis which you can access here
If you would like to arrange an appointment to speak to me at an advice surgery, please email: huw.merriman.mp@parliament.uk or call 01424 736861
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