As the coronavirus lockdown has been eased in recent weeks, for some people life is starting to feel a little bit more normal again. But sadly the pandemic and its impacts have not gone away, and for many this summer will continue to bring significant challenges, writes Helen Hayes…
Despite protests from Labour, the Tories have decided to remove the protection from eviction for tenants in the private rented sector. Many private renters have faced financial challenges during the coronavirus lockdown, often due to gaps and omissions in the government’s financial support for workers.
For private tenants who have never previously been in arrears, many of whom have worked tremendously hard during the lockdown to help support neighbours who were shielding, this is a kick in the teeth.
The eviction ban will end on 23 August and I know that many private renters are desperately worried about what will happen to them. I will continue to call on the government to ensure that no-one loses their home due to coronavirus and that vitally needed protections for private renters are put in place.
In the meantime, Boris Johnson has announced that he would like to see a return to work where possible from August 1, with no thought for the thousands of parents who are left without affordable childcare and for the many childcare providers facing severe financial difficulties.
The government simply didn’t have a plan for childcare during a pandemic and it will be a double whammy for many families if, just as things are starting to return to normal, they find that they have no childcare as their child’s nursery has had to close.
So many people have played their part in stopping the spread of coronavirus for the past five months, often making huge personal sacrifices to do so. As we move into this new phase and the virus continues to cause problems, the Tories are increasingly exposed as not having a detailed, flexible plan to ensure support where it is needed.
If ever there was a moment for strong, clear leadership and a government which is there for everyone, it is now. It is clear that Boris Johnson and the Tories are simply not delivering, and the consequences are being felt keenly across our communities.