The week began with Oral Questions to the Department for Work and Pension. During topicals, I raised concerns about the lack of support for those using job centres who suffer with mental health or cognitive difficulties. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
In the afternoon, I participated in a Westminster Hall debate on Prescription Charges for People Over 60, where I made two interventions. Firstly, to raise concerns that increasing the age at which prescriptions become free may have a detrimental impact on access to medical treatment for the older generation. Then I highlighted the growing number of individuals struggling with prescription charges and the negative effect this could have on the over 60s. While prescriptions are free for all residents in Scotland, this is an important issue for those across the UK. You can read transcripts of my contributions here and here in Hansard, or watch them here and here on ParliamentTv.
On Tuesday, I took part in an early Westminster Hall debate on Decarbonising Rural Transport where I made several interventions. Firstly, to highlight the importance of improving rural public transport links. Then to raise concerns regarding poor grid connectivity, the reliance on the private sector to provide infrastructure for charging and the effect that this could have on the transition to electric vehicles. Finally, I raised concerns around the Government’s active travel strategy and what this means for those in rural communities. You can read transcripts of my interventions here, here and here in Hansard. Or watch the whole debate here on ParliamentTv.
This was followed by a second Westminster Hall debate, this time on Civil Service pay. I took the opportunity to voice concerns that low wages combined with the cost-of-living crisis is having a detrimental impact on civil service workers and could lead to a loss of experience and expertise across the sector. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
On Wednesday, I participated in the Committee Stage of the ‘Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Bill’, which is designed to give workers and agency staff more predictable terms and conditions of work. Here I made a short speech in support of the bill and the potential for it to protect those on zero-hour contracts, as well as the positive impact it could have in getting people back into employment. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or listen to the audio here on ParliamentTv.
Thursday was a busy day, starting with Oral Questions to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. I asked the Minister when they will publish the White Paper, to help combat gambling related harm, given the great social and economic impact. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
During topicals, I asked the Secretary of State what plans there were for the Government to research the positive aspects of community boxing clubs. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
Following this was Business Questions, where I raised the case of one of my constituents and his difficulties with the final stages of obtaining a visa for his wife in Afghanistan. I also asked for assistance in organising a meeting with the Minister for Migration to help rectify this. You can read a transcript of my question here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.
Later that morning, I took part in a debate to mark International Women’s Day, where I made two interventions. Firstly, to highlight the plight of divorced Afghan women who find themselves at risk under adultery laws, following their escape from abusive marriages. Then to ask if the Government should be doing more to help finance training for women to allow them to break into industries where they are currently under-represented. You can read a transcript of my interventions here and here in Hansard or watch them here and here on ParliamentTv.
Finally, in the afternoon I participated in a debate on Brain Tumour Research Funding. Here I spoke on behalf of one of my constituents who had contacted me regarding the difficulties that her family had experienced when trying to obtain a diagnosis and treatment for her niece. You can read a transcript of my contribution here in Hansard or watch it here on ParliamentTv.