Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Public Services

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 1:02 pm on 16th October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alison Thewliss Alison Thewliss Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 1:02 pm, 16th October 2019

I agree with my hon. Friend that there is a lot to be learned from that. We should be in the business of closing prisons down, not building more. We should look at the reasons people are driven into the criminal justice system—at the causes of poverty and inequality, which drive so many people into it.

I look with interest and some despair at the immigration and social security Bill. We see immigration as positive. It is a good thing for our country and it is very good for public services in our country. Brexit will have a huge and damaging effect on our public services, because often the people who provide them have done us the huge honour of coming to our country.

The NHS in particular will suffer as a result of Brexit. Recently, The Independent quoted research by Medbelle that said that EU doctors and nurses have been worth more than £3 billion to the UK economy over the past five years. There has already been a 91% fall in EU registrations to the Nursing & Midwifery Council since 2016, and more than 7,000 nurses have left that register. What impact do the Government think that will have on the most vulnerable? How do they expect our NHS to cope with the shock of that sudden drop? According to Medbelle’s analysis, educating more than 30,000 British nurses to replace EU nationals would cost £1.2 billion. If and when we finally see a Budget, how will the Chancellor provide for that?

Age UK has raised concerns about the adult social care Bill. From the announcements so far, it thinks that the Bill is too restricted in being just for the elderly and that it should be extended right across the board. I urge the Minister to look at Scotland, where there is already free personal care and where we are moving towards making non-residential social care free as well, because it is desperately important to people. EU nationals are at the forefront of providing that service.