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This Week in Westminster - Friday 5 February

Kerri Prince, BASW UK Public Affairs Lead, provides an update from Westminster

This week it was announced that the number of people that had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has surpassed 10 million, which has given hope to many people as we approach one year since the first lockdown that we might able to get back to ‘normal’ soon.

As many people who do or have worked in politics with tell you, when there is good news there is probably bad news buried at the bottom of agendas and announcements.

The Chancellor still has not extended the weekly £20 Universal Credit uplift that is due to expire in April. BASW have added our voice to campaign in favour of retaining this uplift, with coverage by the BBC this week of a letter we signed to Boris Johnson. BASW also contributed to a report conducted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Poverty which affirms the necessity of that uplift for thousands of the poorest in this country right now.

You may have noticed the number of reviews that are going on at the moment that BASW will have an interest in: The Mental Health Act reforms, the England Children’s Care review, and the Independent Human Rights Act review. These could also see legislation coming to Parliament next year, so we will be working hard to ensure that BASWs voice is at the heart of trying to make sure that legislation is the best that it can be.

There was some speculation about whether elections across the country would be going ahead, but it seems certain that they will. The Scottish Parliament are up for election as well as the Welsh Senedd. In England, there a number of Mayoral elections going on, with local council elections in most parts of the country.

The UK Parliament sits for another week and then goes into recess, where MPs will often return to their constituencies and catch up on constituency casework and visits.

If you have any questions about our parliamentary activity, you can contact me on