NEWS THIS WEEK – from Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington February 9 2016

10 Feb 2016
Responding to Monday's statement on Syria and the UK response
On Monday, Diane Abbott MP responded to a statement from the Secretary of State for International Development (Justine Greening) on the Syria Crisis and the UK response. You can read the transcript of the discussion here, a full video of the discussion here and watch Diane's contribution on Facebook here.

International Development matters
As last Wednesday’s International Development Questions in Parliament, Diane Abbott MP highlighted how the Department for International Development's work in ?Yemen is being undermined by arms sales to ?Saudi Arabia saying: "The Minister will be aware that Saferworld, Oxfam, UNICEF, and Save the Children take the position that DFID’s work in Yemen is being undermined by UK arms sales. How can the Minister continue to insist that a UK-replenished Saudi arsenal being dropped on Yemen is not an impediment to development?"
Diane also asked the Minister for International Development Justine Greening about whether the Government would be accepting into Britain child refugees who are currently in camps in Europe.
You can see a video of the debate here.

Key services and jobs in Hackney could be under threat
Diane Abbott MP has urged the Government to rethink new Home Office policy which would mean non-EU migrants having to earn more than £35,000 to stay in the country. Overseas workers who have lived in the UK for five years that fail to prove being paid this minimum threshold will face deportation.
Speaking to the Hackney Gazette, Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington said “This proposal is ill-considered, destructive and discriminatory. The figure is completely unrealistic – £35,000 is far higher than the average UK wage... It has the potential to rip the heart from communities like Hackney and cripple vital services – impacting countless health, charity, education and police workers, for a start.”
Read the full story here

The Government must do more on the refugee crisis
Following her recent trip to the refugee camp in Calais, Diane Abbott MP spoke to the Hackney Gazette about her visit, explaining that “there are thousands of people, including babies and very young children, living in freezing conditions with no education, limited food and healthcare.”
She added that “The government’s response to the crisis has been piecemeal, ineffectual and slow and it’s seen thousands stuck in a dehumanising limbo for far too long. This is a European crisis, and efforts to ease it need to reflect that – we need improved co-ordination between countries, and Britain needs to play its part,” and concluded that “This crisis is camped right on our doorstep and we have a clear moral obligation to work towards an effective, compassionate and sustainable solution.”
Read the full piece here.

Universal Credit leaves working families worse off, IFS says
The introduction of Universal Credit (UC) will leave working families worse off on average, a Institute for Fiscal Studies said this week.
UC, which combines six benefits into one monthly payment including Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), was intended to be more generous than the current system but the IFS said cuts to the programme meant this would not be the case.
Owen Smith MP, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to the new analysis by IFS on Universal Credit said: "As was the case with Tax Credits, from this April low and middle paid working families will start losing as a result of these cuts - a single parent in full time work will be £3,000 a year worse off.  So the Tories must use next month’s Budget to change course and listen to Labour’s demand to stop cuts to Universal Credit that will take an average of £1,600 from working families and risk causing a financial disaster for millions.”

Labour holds George Osborne to account on the Google Tax Deal
This week, Labour has continued to question and scrutinise the Government on the recent Google tax deal. Writing to George Osborne, John McDonnell MP said “It has now been over a week since you announced on Twitter the Government’s tax deal with Google. Since then there has been public outcry and support from all side of the House of Commons at the decision to settle for such a derisory sum,” adding that “In fact, not one single fellow member of the Cabinet agrees with you that this was a “major success” And only yesterday on the Andrew Marr Show the Business Secretary has conceded on your behalf that this was “not a glorious moment”.
You can read the full letter here

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