This month, I have met with many organisations to discuss what we might expect from Monday’s Budget, including Which?, the GMB trade union, the Women’s Budget Group HSBC, Blackrod and economists like the IFS and the New Economics Foundation. As it’s Halloween week there is some nervousness about how scary the economic outlook may be. I will be going through every line with a fine tooth comb.
As well as the Budget, I’m also busy dealing with the opposition response to the Government’s Finance Bill, and dozens of Statutory Instruments through which the government are trying to sneak through Brexit details with as little scrutiny as possible. We will do our best not to let them get away with it.
I also spoke in a Westminster Hall Debate about cracking down on banking fraud. On the back of the RBS GRG scandal which saw RBS take control of 16,000 small businesses after the financial crash a decade ago, SMEs have frankly lost faith that big banks will operate in their best interests. So much needs to change, and we cannot rely on the banking industry to sort out their own back yard, or the inept Tory government to get them to – an independent system with whistle-blower protection is essential.
Additionally I participated in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Lending. It’s imperative that we identify and promote more responsible ways of lending to protect consumers from opportunist lenders with unrepayable interest rates.