Number 5 bus breakthrough

Archive for June, 2016

Number 5 bus breakthrough

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

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I am delighted that there has been a major breakthrough in my campaign to get the Number 5 bus redirected to Queen’s hospital. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that TFL will launch a consultation on diverting the Number 5 bus to the hospital.

I am glad that the Mayor has listened to the thousands of residents who have signed the petition. There is real public appetite to get the bus to go straight to the hospital. I took the journey from Thames to Queen’s hospital last year to raise awareness of the difficulty of the journey. It took three buses and nearly two hours. If you’ve got to have dialysis or chemotherapy, or visit a sick relative. That’s four hours of travelling, it’s just not on.

I will be in touch with TFL to get more details on when the consultation will take place but I urge all of you to make sure your views are heard.

My Amendment to the Finance Bill

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Yesterday my amendment to the Finance Bill was debated and voted on in Parliament. The amendment aimed to help tackle tax havens by installing much needed transparency in the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, home to a number of tax havens.

My amendment called on the Chancellor to publish an estimate of extending the UK’s public register of beneficial ownership to companies in our Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. I was delighted that the amendment was signed by 48 MPs representing six different parties across the House of Commons.

The government has made progress in introducing a public register of beneficial ownership, which tells us who really owns each company, in the UK but they should go further and use the powers it has to make our Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to introduce it as well.

Money hidden in tax havens in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies costs both the UK and the developing world huge amounts of lost revenue each year – in fact the OECD estimate that these tax havens cost developing nations three times the global aid budget. This is money that could be used to pay for schools and care for the elderly in this borough.

These tax havens thrive on secrecy and it’s time we sweep that away. Only when we know who really owns what company, in each country, can we collect the right money due.

If we want to restore confidence in the fairness and integrity of the tax system, we must open it up so that we can see that individuals and big business pay their fair share.

Unfortunately my amendment did not pass – we lost the vote by 268 to 305 – but I will continue to do all I can to tackle tax havens.

You can watch the speech I gave in support of the amendment below:

Margaret Hodge

Tackling tax havens

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

I have tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill to encourage the Government to get tough on tax havens.  The amendment would ensure that the Government uses powers it has used before to insist on public registers of beneficial ownership in the UK’s Overseas Territories.

We know from the Panama Leaks that UK Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories play a big role in helping businesses and individuals avoid and evade tax.  They enable some of the world’s wealthiest individuals and most powerful multinational companies avoid or evade tax. We need to put an end to their corrupting presence in the tax system.

The UK tax havens are some of the most secretive places and nearly half of the companies and trusts set up by Mossack Fonseca were established in just one of the British Overseas Territories: the British Virgin Islands. They thrive on secrecy and it’s time we sweep that away.

At a time when residents are really feeling the pinch it just isn’t fair that rich businesses and individuals are keeping their money offshore and away from the tax man. Every pound avoided is a pound lost to the public purse that could pay for much needed school places, hospitals and care for the elderly here in Barking and Dagenham.

I am delighted that this amendment has secured cross party support and I look forward to debating this amendment on the 28th June.

 

You can see the wording of the amendment below.

amendment

Reliance on locum GPs in Barking and Dagenham

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

I was very concerned to read these statistics from the BBC which shows that Barking and Dagenham has one of the highest percentages of locum GPs in the country. This reliance on locum GPs in the borough is unacceptable and puts the quality of care that residents receive at risk. I am fed up residents not receiving the first rate care that they deserve.

I have written to the CCG to express my concerns and ask what they are doing to address this problem.

As always, if you have any problems with your GP services please contact my office on 0208 594 1333.

 

You can read my letter below.

My letter to the CCG

 

Celebrating #carersweek in Barking and Dagenham

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

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Last week I met-up with Barking and Dagenham Carers to celebrate #carersweek.

There are 6.5 million people across the UK who care unpaid for an ill, frail or disabled family member or friend. Carers week celebrates and recognises the contribution of all of the UK’s unpaid carers.

Those who care for an ill, frail or disabled loved one are our Borough’s unsung heroes. It is really important that we all recognise the important work they do and that we do everything we can to support them.

Barking and Dagenham carers provide advice, information and support for people who care. You can find out more about Carers of Barking & Dagenham on their website: http://www.carerscentre.org.uk/