The week began on Monday, with questions to the Ministry of Defence. I asked what impact the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the Royal Air Force and Imperial College London would have on the technological capabilities of the RAF. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a Westminster Hall debate in the afternoon to discuss Immigration Fees for Healthcare Workers on the back of a petition to ask that costs are significantly reduced. Here I made three interventions. Firstly, to raise concerns about the affordability of the scheme for those working in the crisis hit home care sector. Then to highlight that 28% of respondents to the Petitions Committee survey have delayed their applications due to costs. And finally, to ask what engagement there has been with the Scottish Government regarding the impact of visa and immigration policy on devolved healthcare. You can watch the whole debate here on ParliamentTv.
On Tuesday, there were questions to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. During topicals, I asked about the thousands of arbitrarily detained individuals currently imprisoned in Egypt and how the UK Government was looking to assist such individuals. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard, or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by an Urgent Question to the Treasury regarding the IMF Economic Outlook. I asked what support there would be for hospitality and retail businesses which are often worst hit during economic downturn. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard, or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
On Wednesday, I took part in a Westminster Hall debate regarding Bee Killing Pesticides where I made three interventions. Firstly, to express concerns that the use of such chemicals might demonstrate a slipping of environmental standards by the UK Government. Then, to highlight the economic value of pollination to UK crops and the dangers posed by the decline of bee populations. And finally, to draw attention to the excellent apiary projects in my constituency which do so much for conservation and pollinator populations. You can read a transcript of my contributions here, here and here in Hansard. Or watch the entire debate here on ParliamentTv.
Thursday was a busy day, beginning with Oral Questions to the Cabinet Office. I asked what work had been done by the Office for Veteran’s Affairs to improve the health and mental wellbeing of veterans. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard, or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
Then, during topicals, I asked what assessments the Ministers had made of suggestions from the Institute for Government on publishing publicly more policy advice from officials. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard, or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
Following this was Business Questions, where I took the chance to pay tribute to talented female footballer from my constituency, Sophia Martin and wish her well as she embarks on her career with Glasgow City FC. I also asked for time for a debate on the contributions of young women to professional sport. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard, or watch here on ParliamentTv.
After this I attended a Westminster Hall debate on Cystic Fibrosis and Living Costs. I made three interventions during this debate. Firstly, to highlight the high cost incurred by those suffering from Cystic Fibrosis and to ask whether reducing prescription charges for those individuals might help to ease this financial burden. I made a second intervention to note that many individuals with Cystic Fibrosis are rejected during their application for PIP and to ask how awareness of the condition within the DWP might be improved. Finally, I raised the issue of a lack of effective statutory sick pay for those with the condition and the impact that this has on their employment. You can read transcripts of my interventions here, here and here on Hansard. Or watch the entire debate her on ParliamentTv.
Later that afternoon I attended a second Westminster Hall Debate, this time on the High Income Benefit Charge. Here I raised concerns that pensions and other benefits could be impacted by households failing to apply due to the complexity of the high income benefit charge. I also highlighted that the charge is not uprated in line with inflation, meaning that families can potentially lose part of their entitlement. You can read a transcript of my interventions here and here in Hansard. Or watch them here on ParliamentTv.