This evening, I will regrettably be voting against the new Covid tier system.
Why? The Government has still not provided any evidence to MPs that the specific restrictions proposed will do more good than harm.
Evidence that supports the claim that hospitals will be overwhelmed without these severe rules has also not been forthcoming, despite it being repeatedly asked for.
There is no doubt that Covid is a deadly disease to many and it is vital that we control its spread effectively. But we must give equal regard to other lethal killers like cancer, dementia and heart disease, to people’s mental health, and all the health implications of poverty and falling GDP.
As someone who worked in business, and indeed ran my own business, before I was elected as your local MP in 2005, I need to see strong evidence from the Government before I can look businesses and workers in the eye and recommend that these severe restrictions are worth the impact on their livelihoods. On the current lack of evidence, I simply cannot do this.
These are difficult decisions and to get them right Government should be much more transparent about the information on which they are based.