This week, the UK Government has continued to block the implementation of a Global Minimum Rate of Corporation Tax, proposed by US President Joe Biden and backed by all other members of the G7: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Germany. Quite why this Government seems so determined to avoid tackling major tax avoidance is incomprehensible. Multinationals have for too long derived colossal profits from the UK and paid so little in return and it is time that they were made to pay their fair share. Our economy will not recover if multinationals are allowed to run amok and our smaller, local businesses go under. Tax gains from these multinationals must be recouped in order to support our economies and our communities to enable them to spend on the high street and in these multinationals.  The Government must reconsider.

I am also deeply concerned about the Government’s appalling trade deal with Australia, and will be working with other Labour MPs to try and highlight the many problems it presents. This deal will undermine our animal welfare standards, increase food miles, and put small UK farmers at risk of bankruptcy. There is not one positive that can come from this deal and the costs are high. We are proud in the UK of our animal standards for both ethical and health reasons and we cannot allow the prospect of a cheap deal to undermine them. It is absolutely ludicrous that while the Government is preparing to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) later this year that they are also pursuing a deal that will see products (that can be sourced here in the UK or among our neighbours) be transported from the other side of the world. We are all becoming far more aware of the impact of our behaviours on the world and the climate and this is particularly true of our eating habits. From sourcing produce locally to learning more about different seasonal foods, we are all becoming more interested in sustainable living. Why are the Government not leading the charge for sustainability and instead throwing spanners in the works of policies the British public support?

This week the Attorney General was asked to make a statement on when the Government’s end-to-end review of the criminal justice system response to rape will be published. It has been more than 2 years now since the Government announced this review and yet we have still heard nothing. In that time, there have been more sexual crimes committed and more victims and Covid has had a huge impact on the capacity of courts to deal with this, compounding the decade of failure and spending cuts which has decimated the foundations of our criminal justice system. The crown court backlog now exceeds 58,000 cases, and rape and serious sexual violence victims are being left to wait years before cases get to trial. These crimes have horrific consequences for their victims. No one who has gone through such a traumatic crime should expect to wait so long for justice. This Government has no plan to support victims or address the failings on its watch. That is why Labour has set out our Survivors Support Plan and our Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Green Paper to help secure and rebuild our criminal justice system so that it works for everyone.

If there are issues you want to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing or by calling 0121 661 9440. My team and I are of course subject to many of the same challenges and restrictions as other families in Birmingham Ladywood at the minute, but we will do everything we can to help constituents in these difficult times.

Keep your social distance, stay safe and healthy – and please, keep washing your hands!

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