My Lords, I acknowledge the exceptional pressure that the Government are under. The NHS faces a complex set of choices in protecting the nation and people’s livelihood, education and mental well-being.
According to a former president of the Bangladesh Caterers Association and Ahmed Samad Chowdhury of the Catering Circle—organisations with membership in the thousands—the hospitality sector is on its knees. I understand the obligation on businesses to continue making the necessary adjustments to ensure compliance and assist with the many challenges confronting the hospitality sector, but this also requires our Government getting test and trace into competent local hands.
Billions have been thrown to questionable private- sector companies without the adequate knowledge of communities and businesses, which has eroded trust in the NHS Test and Trace system. We already know about the lack of confidence in it, with data management fiascos contributing to the infection of individuals who may have unknowingly endangered their families and vulnerable loved ones.
The payment of £500 to support self-isolation while fines can be in the thousands really smacks of an incoherent government strategy, as does the rule of six and the 10 pm curfew. The Government must explain and justify this by sharing evidence with this House and citizens at large. Questioning and seeking clarification in this House should not be mistaken for dissent, given that the Government cannot competently keep our country safe.
The Government have lost trust. I have tried my very utmost best to be as co-operative as possible in these debates. Can the Minister say whether, in reviewing this legislation, the Government will re-examine their messaging appropriately for all communities and acknowledge that those people who are vulnerable remain vulnerable to this merciless disease?