Covid-19 Update - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:45 pm on 18th May 2021.

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Photo of Lord Sikka Lord Sikka Labour 1:45 pm, 18th May 2021

My Lords, the pandemic has hit the low-paid and the poor the hardest. The Government need to commit to a road map to a better post-Covid society so I invite them to make two pledges. First, at the very least, they need to reduce the NHS waiting lists in England from the present 4.95 million to 2.5 million, which was the case in 2010. Will the Minister pledge to do exactly that by the end of this Parliament or even sooner? If not, why not? Secondly, the poorest 10% of households pay 47.6% of their income in direct and indirect taxes, compared with 33.5% for the richest 10% of households. This condemns millions of people to poor food, housing and health, which is a key reason for deaths during this pandemic. Will the Government pledge to eliminate that injustice by the end of this Parliament?