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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:17 pm on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Rachel Reeves Rachel Reeves Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 4:17 pm, 14th October 2020

I will make some progress and conclude to give others time to speak.

Ten years of austerity, fragmentation and privatisation have left our country less resilient to face a pandemic like this. Public health budgets have been slashed by cuts from central Government. Sustained new investment is needed to rebuild our public services during this crisis and beyond. The Government have squandered enormous sums of money on a centrally dictated outsourcing model, and Ministers should hang their heads in shame because it has failed.

The consequence of this failure means we are not getting the virus under control after months of sacrifice by the British people, so my message today is simple: sack Serco and give those resources to local councils, save lives, protect livelihoods and learn these lessons before it is too late.