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Kerry McCarthy
Kerry McCarthy
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- 27 February 2018
I welcome yesterday’s announcement that Labour backs a Customs Union with the EU, which is by far and away our largest trading partner. Other countries in Europe but outside of the EU, like Norway, recognise the benefit of maintaining tariff-free trade with the EU, and I am glad that the Labour Party has too. This would ensure that car and aerospace parts can move without any tariff being placed on them whatsoever. The Government’s current policy of taking the UK out of the Customs Union puts this at risk, and all so that it can cut a deal with the United States that threatens our environmental and workplace standards. This shift in policy from Jeremy Corbyn recognises the economic reality that the UK faces as it leaves the EU.
- 27 February 2018
NHS England is currently consulting on the provision of prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines for short-term health conditions, such as nappy rash, conjunctivitis and sore throats. These proposals, if they go ahead, would mean that prescriptions for some minor ailments would no longer be prescribed by GPs, but would need to be purchased by patients from pharmacies and other outlets such as supermarkets. These proposal are designed to save the NHS money, but there is a concern that they may be detrimental to those on low incomes who are currently entitled to free prescriptions. You can find out more about the proposals and submit your views via the link below. The consultation closes on 14th March 2018.
- 22 February 2018
Sending support to UCU lecturers who are striking today. Academic staff across the country have faced their conditions being eroded, and the most recent pension changes would leave them losing up to £10,000 a year in retirement. Universities must get back around the table and put forward a fair deal.
- 22 February 2018
I was shocked, but not entirely surprised, to read the Guardian’s investigation into the appallingly low hygiene standards in the USA’s meat production sector. I was happy to provide a comment for the article, as well as write a letter to Michael Gove and Liam Fox to seek assurance that this ‘dirty meat’ would not find its way into UK supermarkets in the event of a free trade deal being struck after Brexit. Investigators reported incidents including pig carcasses piling up on dirty floors after equipment breakdowns, meat riddled with faecal matter and abscesses, and chicken that had been dropped onto the floor being doused with chlorine before being returned to the production line. This is, to be frank, disgusting. If Gove and Fox don’t provide the public with certainty that this sort of product will be kept out of the UK, then they are putting the health of the public – not to mention countless jobs and businesses – at risk.
- 21 February 2018
High energy costs can be a big burden on a weekly budget, and it’s worth checking with your supplier to make sure you’re not paying more than you need to for energy. Too many households struggle with energy costs and can’t afford to keep their houses warm through winter, which is known to cause a range of health problems. Bristol Energy is hosting a free event this Saturday 11am-3pm at Hillfields Library giving advice and practical help on how you can reduce your energy bills. I’d encourage anyone interested in how they can save money to attend.
- 19 February 2018
Cath Moore, who is a resident in Fishponds, was so moved by the plastic waste problem she decided to go plastic free. When she found it difficult to find products locally, she set up a site and shop herself. You can read more about it here on the Facebook page Thangam Debbonaire MP for Bristol West and I have set up to highlight the problem of plastic pollution and some of the solutions. Do check out Cath’s site for those products it's difficult to find in the shops, and give the Facebook page a like if you want to be kept informed.
- 18 February 2018
I’m pleased to support the Women’s Institute #WIFoodMatters campaign, which is calling on all supermarkets to publish their food waste statistics, across their supply chains, and in a format that is accessible to consumers. As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Food Waste, I have been an active campaigner for businesses to reduce their levels of food waste. It’s great to see the recent upsurge of interest in the issue, with Tesco pledging to end edible food waste by March 2018 and Aldi pledging to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. However there is much more progress that needs to be made. Publishing food waste statistics will provide some much needed transparency to the issue, enabling consumers and charities to apply pressure onto businesses.
- 17 February 2018
Please follow the link below to read about the environmental and animal welfare-related work that I have been doing over the last few months. There has been a lot of activity recently on these topics in Parliament. I have sat on Select Committee hearings on the Animal Sentience Bill, green finance, F-gases, disposable plastics and China’s ban on waste imports. I also sponsored a debate on environmental education, as well as speaking in debates on chemicals regulation and the framework for agricultural policy after Brexit, and supporting campaigns for Lucy’s Law and a plastic-free Parliament. You can read all about it here, and sign up if you’d like to be kept informed in future.
- 16 February 2018
Were it not for the battles fought by trade unions we wouldn’t have the weekends, paid holidays, and many other of the workers’ rights we enjoy today. A union gives strength to an organised workforce, which can then demand fair pay and good conditions at work, In the past year we saw McDonald’s staff strike for the first time in Britain and successfully win higher wages, but many challenges still remain. I’m proud to be a representative of the Labour Party which was formed by a collection of trade-unionists, socialists, feminists, and working-class organisations over 100 years ago. I will continue working to support trade unions and strengthen working protections in our changing employment market. Join a union today -https://www.tuc.org.uk/join-union
- 15 February 2018
I’ve written a blog for the Huffington Post on Theresa May’s recent visit to China and the UK’s future trading policy should we leave the Customs Union. Striking a trade deal is one of the few times when we can influence China on its human rights record: Beijing’s desire to do trade with the UK gives our Government leverage over the issue of human rights. Yet when visiting the country earlier this month, Theresa May failed to raise either Hong Kong or human rights concerns with her Chinese counterparts. This sets a worrying precedent; recent talks between China and Norway were only possible once Norway recognised Beijing’s “One China” policy, which precludes any support for Tibet. Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, has demonstrated little interest in the human rights agenda, be it in his dealings with Sri Lanka or Filipino President Duterte, a man nicknamed “the Punisher”. This is why it is so important for Parliament to be able to properly scrutinise trade deals in fut
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