Well, it’s been an incredibly busy week as we return to Parliament after the short recess. With the Tories still scrapping amongst themselves in the race to replace Theresa May, it’s been great to get really stuck in to the issues that matter this week.
To kick off this week, I was pleased to hold a roundtable on funerals. This was the first meeting of the new Working Party on Funeral Poverty which will look to identify and implement solutions to problems facing consumers struggling with funeral costs. As many constituents will know, I’ve been campaigning on various issues surrounding funerals since I was first elected, the most prominent of which being my successful campaign to establish a Children’s Funeral Fund. As part of these discussions, we took stock of a number of different issues including: public health funerals, social fund funeral payments, the need to work more closely with funeral providers and, of course, the progress of the Children’s Funeral Fund.
The work we undertook as part of this roundtable fed directly into a Parliamentary debate on funeral plans which I was proud to take part in this week. This was a really positive opportunity for me to be able to put pressure on ministers on the issues surrounding the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulation of the funeral plans market. The FCA will only be given the teeth it needs to stand up for consumers in 2021. This is far too late for the many families who may get into difficulty when dealing with funeral providers over the coming months and years. It’s vital that the government provides more support for consumers during this interim period and I was pleased to be able to seek assurances from ministers to this effect. I was also pleased to inform ministers about the work of the new Working Party on Funeral Poverty as part of this debate and I will continue to put forward the ideas raised by the group to get the changes we desperately need.
This week, I’ve also been shocked – yet not surprised – by the news that fat cat gambling company bosses are continuing to cash in off the backs of those who can least afford it. We’ve seen the management of Ladbrokes and Foxy Bingo receiving bumper pay packages while there are still hundreds of thousands of gambling addicts struggling to get by. Their behaviour this week has underlined once again that the industry will not act unless it is forced to by the government. I’ll be continuing to campaign on behalf of constituents who have been affected by problem gambling and, indeed, people facing similar issues across the country.
You can read my Politics Home article on this issue here.
Today, I’ve been holding another busy advice surgery at my constituency office. Once again, I’ve been inundated with constituents struggling under the strain of nearly a decade of Tory austerity. My team and I will continue to do all we can to support constituents in any way we can. As always, please do get in touch with my office on 01792 462 054 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any issues or concerns you would like to raise with me.
I hope all constituents across Swansea East have a lovely weekend!