MP responds to new lockdown announcement
Newbury MP, Laura Farris, has responded to last night's announcement in relation to a new lockdown for England.
Farris highlighted the fact the first lockdown was effective and that both the rate of the virus in West Berkshire as well as hospital admissions locally remain low. She did say that a further lockdown was not what she wanted, however, she could not, in good conscience, ignore data that risked tens of thousands of lives or ICU beds becoming overwhelmed.
The MP added: "The data is now showing a terrifying spread of the virus in other parts of the country and it would be foolish to pretend that we are some kind of island that is going to remain immune. A further lockdown was not what I wanted however I could not, in good conscience, ignore data that risked tens of thousands of lives or ICU beds becoming overwhelmed.
"My immediate priorities will be to establish clear data both locally and nationally on the number of critical beds available and the increase in take-up (including in the Nightingales). I will also seek clear and measurable criteria for exiting these measures which I will share with you so that you are able to monitor this for yourselves."
Farris went on explain the financial packages that have been made available. She said: "Last night the Chancellor announced his first raft of further financial support. The furlough scheme which officially ended yesterday is now extended and anyone furloughed will be entitled to 80% of pay on the same basis as before. This replaces the Job Support Scheme that had been created for the Winter months.
"A further Treasury announcement today concerns mortgages. Anyone who has not yet taken advantage of, or fully completed, the six-month payment holiday on their mortgage is entitled to do so with immediate effect."