Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Tom Hunt Tom Hunt Conservative, Ipswich 12:30 pm, 19th March 2020

I welcome the unprecedented level of support provided to our businesses by the Chancellor earlier this week, but is it not also important to consider our charitable sector during this critical time? Earlier this week, I spoke to the chief executive of Suffolk Age UK to ask him how my office could support elderly people in my constituency as much as possible. He said to me that, in the short term, there are lots of volunteers—more volunteers than he has ever had before—but his major concern is about the financial future of the charity. In many senses, charities operate in the same way as businesses, and many of their fundraising activities—charity shops, fundraising events—have had to be cancelled because of the crisis that we are going through at the moment. Is it not appropriate for the House to set aside time to debate how we can support vital charities such as Age UK, which, through their volunteers, are supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our constituencies at the moment?