Again in Parliament this week I have raised the issue of support for micro businesses not so far eligible for assistance. I am painfully conscious of the numbers in this constituency and nationally who have fallen through the gaps in support. As the PM pointed out in PMQs there has been a £200 billion package of support through the Covid-19 crisis, for those it has not helped that is of no consolation.
I also raised it direct with the Chancellor in our regular one to one meeting. As a Select Committee Chair I do get to see the Chancellor on an individual basis to discuss relevant issues. I know we are fortunate in having a Chancellor who knows this area well, which I never miss an opportunity to remind him of.
On Thursday I am hoping to speak in the Westminster Hall debate on early years. I am hugely grateful to the number of childcare providers in this constituency who have been in touch with helpful information and statistics and, providing I make the speaker list, I will be again standing up for them in the House.
Finally, none of us wish to see the tier restrictions continue any longer than is absolutely necessary. In common with other Hampshire MPs I have been pressing the PM and the Health Secretary to consider restrictions along Borough / District boundaries rather than Counties. Here in Test Valley the infection rates are consistently lower than in Portsmouth and Havant, but we all have to work together to keep it that way. I know my vote to support the return to the tiers has not been popular with some, but others have thanked me for my vote, which I decided upon after having spoken to eminent epidemiologists and healthcare professionals locally.