Covid-19: Disparate Impact - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:21 pm on 27th October 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 6:21 pm, 27th October 2020

My Lords, noble Lords will have heard me earlier make reference to the fact that the children of many people who have “no recourse to public funds” have been able to access free school meals. The furlough scheme and the job retention scheme are not counted as public funds, so those in the category that the noble Baroness outlines were able to access them. No one in this country is charged for testing or treatment for Covid-19, and certain services, including primary care and A&E, are free to all. It is very clear that, if there are charges to be applied, treatment that is considered by a clinician to be urgent or immediately necessary must not be delayed or withheld. We have made essential healthcare available to all people who are within the boundaries of our country.