People need security and opportunity, John.
Yesterday, the Chancellor failed to convince us that the government has a
plan to deliver either.
Although there is much in yesterday's statement that Labour does support,
the fact is that yesterday's intervention comes too late for those who have
already lost their jobs as many large firms' deadlines for redundancy
consultations were last week.
In total, Labour has called for a system of targeted wage support forty
times, but the government had previously ruled it out twenty times. While
the Chancellor's eleventh-hour U-turn on his furlough cliff edge is
welcome, there are concerns that under the scheme, it may be cheaper for
some companies to bring back one member of staff full-time and fire
another, rather than bring both workers back part-time.
That's why in her speech on Monday, Anneliese Dodds set out Labour’s
proposal for a Job Recovery Scheme which would address that specific
principle, _“The scheme would incentivise targeted businesses to bring
back more workers part-time, instead of bringing some back full time and
letting others go.”_
Labour's proposal goes further than the government’s new scheme by
including a training component, more conditionality and targeting.
Labour is calling for:
A JOB RECOVERY SCHEME which gives businesses and workers much needed
certainty by enabling businesses in key sectors to allow staff to work
reduced hours, with government subsidising a proportion of wages for the
rest of the week.
A NATIONWIDE RETRAINING STRATEGY for the unemployed and those facing
unemployment to help those whose hours have been cut to increase their
skills or to retrain, and enable people who have lost their jobs to
transition into new work.
AND A BUSINESS REBUILDING PROGRAMME to give businesses the certainty they
crave and so we don’t end up once again with last-minute panicked schemes
that waste public money.
READ MORE 
NORTH EDGBASTON WALKABOUT
Today, I was joined by the Harborne neighbourhood police team, Waqar Ahmed,
Assistant Director for Community Safety, Cllr Carl Rice and many North
Edgbaston residents on our walkabout around Fountain Road to listen to
residents' concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.
If you'd like to join a future walkabout when we're next in your area,
please email me at [email protected].
SHOP LOCAL TO SAVE SMALL BUSINESSES
I also had a lovely visit to Café Reem in Harborne today. Reem, the
restaurant's owner, told me how her family business has struggled over the
past six months.
Like many others, Reem is worried about what the future holds and told me
she felt the government has not done enough to support micro businesses
That's why it's also so important to shop local and support wonderful
businesses like Reem's!
THE COVID APP FINALLY LAUNCHED
The Covid app was finally launched this week. It is in all of our interests
to download and use it for it to be effective.
Download it HERE for Android phones, and HERE  for Apple phones.
However, it appears that anyone with an iPhone 6 or older and many Android
phones of a similar age cannot download the app, as I found out when I
tried to download it yesterday.
The government has had months to prepare for this launch and so it's
concerning that many will be excluded despite wanting to do the right
FIND OUT MORE 
KEIR'S VISION FOR BRITAIN
On Tuesday, Keir Starmer outlined his vision for Britain to be the “best
place to grow up and grow old in,” which embodies the values of decency,
opportunity, fairness, compassion and security.
The speech set out the broad vision for the country under a future Labour
Government led by Keir Starmer.
You can watch Keir's speech by clicking below.
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEWS
GOVERNMENT AVOIDING SCRUTINY
I've written to Dominic Raab to request further information on the new FCDO
department which replaced DfID and asked, again, for him to explain where
the £2.9 billion in cuts to the aid budget he announced will fall.
I sent it six weeks ago, yet I am still waiting for a reply to my letter
and to my request for a meeting.
This shows a government once again avoiding scrutiny.
READ MORE 
2019 UK AID SPEND PUBLISHED
These latest statistics confirm that this government sees the UK aid budget
as its own personal slush fund to cover for their underfunding of other
Spending aid through different government departments, like the Home Office
which is repeatedly found to lack accountability, transparency and value
for money for British taxpayers, has seen more aid going to richer
This government cannot continue to use aid money in this way and must
ensure the aid budget goes to those who need it to make the UK an active
force for good in the world, and once again admired and respected on the