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  • Writer's pictureKarin Smyth

Weekly Update: 8th March 2024

The Government announced its Spring Budget this week. The Prime Minister and Chancellor provided the absurd spectacle of telling people they’ve never had it so good – despite rising prices in shops and the highest tax burden in a generation.


If the Conservatives had succeeded in growing the economy at OECD rates, families would be £5,000 better off every year. Instead, people are struggling to make ends meet. I spoke out about this and other issues in Parliament this week:


Highlighting challenges in emergency care

I joined colleagues in Labour’s health team on the frontbench on Tuesday, to hold the Government to account over its management of the NHS.  Despite watering down targets for ambulance response times and A&E waits, the Government is still unable to meet them. Patients in an emergency are being left waiting – when every second counts.


Tackling serious violence

It was good to meet with the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners in Parliament, to discuss their strategy to tackle serious violence in Avon and Somerset. It's important that local partners work collaboratively to identify and address the root causes of violent crime in our communities.


Speaking out for Bristol South

The Budget had nothing in it for Bristol. I spoke in the debate to highlight the damage that Government funding cuts have had in Bristol South, leaving public services struggling with fewer police officers, less investment for schools, and bus routes cut.


Although Bristol’s Labour-run council has maintained vital services, councils are being put under increasing pressure by the Conservatives’ economic failure. I highlighted how Labour wants to build partnership between local and national government, to bring resources back to our streets.  


Celebrating women in Parliament

I was pleased to celebrate International Women’s Day in Parliament. I joined colleagues at various events to reflect on our commitment to promoting diversity and equality in Westminster. I’m proud that a Labour government would be the most diverse House of Commons ever.


But we still have work to do to achieve equality, and I will continue to speak out for women’s rights in Parliament. 


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