t: 01904 784847 e: julian.sturdy.mp@parliament.uk
Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

Latest News & Campaigns

Julian lobbies government to suspend Sunday Trading restrictions to aid families and key workers

Julian lobbies government to suspend Sunday Trading restrictions to aid families and key workers

Julian has joined members of Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee in writing to the Secretary of State for Business, Alok Sharma MP, to call for the suspension of Sunday Trading Laws for as long as emergency powers are in effect. Julian believes that the current restrictions imposed on shops make it much

Julian welcomes new ‘Nightingale’ hospital to fight coronavirus in Yorkshire

I am reassured by the official confirmation that a new ‘Nightingale’ emergency coronavirus hospital...

York Press column – Unity and self-discipline will get us through Coronavirus

A month on from my last column on overcoming Yorkshire’s flooding challenges, our community...

Julian writes to the Foreign Secretary to urge him to send repatriation flights to Australia and New Zealand

A number of constituents who are struggling to return home to the UK have...

Daily Briefings

    2nd April 2020

The Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, has unveiled a plan to dramatically ramp up Coronavirus testing so that by the end of this month 100,000 tests are carried out every day in England. Professor John Newton the Director of Health Improvement for Public Health England, has been appointed to help deliver the new plans and bring together industry, universities, NHS and government behind the ambitious testing targets.

    New 5-pillar plan

– Scale up swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a medical need and the most critical workers to 25,000 a day by mid to late April;
– Deliver increased commercial swab testing for critical key workers in the NHS, before then expanding to key workers in other sectors;
– Develop blood testing to help know if people have the right antibodies and so have high levels of immunity to coronavirus;
– Conduct surveillance testing to learn more about the spread of the disease and help develop new tests and treatments;
– Create a new National Effort for testing, to build a mass-testing capacity at a completely new scale.
NHS workers will be prioritised to help ensure they can stay in work if they test negative. This will help protect life, and relieve pressure on our NHS.

    NHS debt

In order to ensure that the NHS can focus on defeating this virus

– £13 billion of debt for NHS providers will be written off so that hospitals and services have the immediate financial certainty to plan and deliver their emergency response.
– NHS services will be in a stronger position to respond to the immediate challenges of Coronavirus, as well as deliver widespread improvements in the years ahead.


    PPE

Millions of items of PPE have been delivered to front line staff. We do have enough items but there has been issues with delivery which is why the Government has brought in the army to help distribute to all NHS care providers. A hotline has been set up so everyone from hospitals to care homes can ask for what they need.

    26th March 2020
    Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month for three months although it will be extended if necessary. The scheme will cover three months of an individual’s typical profits so an individual could receive up to £7,500. HMRC will use the average annual profits from eligible individuals’ tax returns for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to determine the size of the grant for each person. The grants are subject to Income Tax and National Insurance so will then be reportable on future Income Tax Self- Assessment tax returns.

    Who is eligible?

The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000. That means 95 per cent of people who are majority self-employed will be eligible for the scheme.

To qualify they must:

have lost trading profits/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
have filed a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership, although the Treasury will make special provision for those who have not filed their return for 2018-19;
have trading profits of less than £50,000 across three years and more than half of total income comes from self-employment.

    25th March 2020

Yesterday, the Government launched NHS Volunteers Responders, a new scheme seeking 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS with medicine delivery, supply shopping and supporting vulnerable isolated people.

You can become an NHS Volunteer Responder and join the NHS’s list of volunteers by visiting https://www.goodsamapp.org/nhs and adding your details to the NHS section, where you can also find more information about the scheme. The Government is urging people who can to register today, support our NHS and help people shielding at home. Volunteers need to be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone. Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely.

    Social Distancing

From now on, you may only leave your home for the following purposes:

– To shop for basic necessities (food, medicine) as infrequently as possible and only where this can’t be done online.
– For one form of exercise once per day – for example a walk or run. You should do this alone, or with a member of your household.
– For medical reasons, i.e. to provide care or help a vulnerable person.
– To travel to and from work, only if it is impossible for you to work from home.

The above are the only reasons that you should leave your home – to ensure that this is the case, the Government is taking steps including closing all shops selling non-essential goods, closing libraries, playgrounds and places of worship, dispersing all gatherings of more than two people in public, and stopping all social events including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies. These measures will be reviewed after 3 weeks, and will remain in place for as long as necessary to help us protect our NHS and vulnerable people from the effects of coronavirus.

If you or a member of your household develop the symptoms of coronavirus (a new persistent dry cough OR a temperature above 100F/ 37.8C) then you and every member of your household should remain at home at all times for 14 days. This means you cannot leave home to shop or exercise, and should arrange to have supplies delivered to your door.

    22nd March 2020

Approximately 1.5 million people in the UK are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Over the next few days, these people will be contacted by the NHS (via letter and/ or text message) and advised to remain at home and avoid any face-to-face contact whatsoever for a minimum period of 12 weeks. A full list of those being contacted, and an explanation of the measures they will be expected to take, is available here.

    Social Distancing

It remains the case that all individuals should heed Government advice to practice social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Necessary measures are as follows:

Avoid contact with anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour.
Work from home.
Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces.
Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

The information above applies to everyone, and is particularly important for those over 70, pregnant women, and individuals in poor health. Such measures are likely to be disruptive and frustrating to some extent, but it is absolutely crucial that Government advice is followed with regard to COVID-19. Combating and controlling this virus will require a huge national effort. We must do all we can to protect our NHS, and save the lives of those most at risk.

This means that you should not go out (even to buy food or essentials) other than for exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. If possible, you should ask for help from others for your daily necessities, or make use of delivery services. If you absolutely must leave the house to purchase supplies, you should do what you can to limit your social contact.

    20th March 2020
    Pub, Clubs, Restaurants and Cafes to Close

From midnight, all pubs, restaurants, cafes as well as entertainment venues will be temporarily closed for 14 days, although the duration of closure can be reviewed and extended. Emergency legislation has relaxed planning rules to allow pubs, cafes and restaurants to provide takeaway options without a planning application.

    Coronavirus Job Retentions scheme

For the first time ever the Government will help pay people’s wages by offering grants to employers who promise to retain their staff covering most of their wages. The Government will place no limit on these grants. Any employer in the country – large, small, charitable or for profit – who promises to retain their staff, can apply for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off. Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month which is above the median income. The cost of wages will be backdated to 1st March and will be open initially for at least three months. The scheme will be extended for longer if necessary.

    VAT

VAT will be deferred for the next three months until the end of the financial year. This equates to an injection of over £30 billion of cash to businesses to help businesses pay people and keep them in work.

    Universal Credit

Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will be increased by £1,000 a year for the next 12 months, that’s nearly £7 billion of extra support. This will benefit over 4 million of the most vulnerable households.

    Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The amount that can be borrowed has been increased from £1.2 million to £5 million. There will be no interest to pay for 12 months – that’s six months more than when it was first announced.

    Supporting the self employed

Self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees. Income tax self-assessment payments for July will be deferred until the end of January 2021. There will be more announcements for the self-employed in the next few days.

    Renters

The Government has already announced nearly £1 billion of support for renters, by increasing the level of housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30 per cent of market rents in local areas.

    19th March 2020
    Emergency Legislation: Supporting the NHS

The Government is introducing emergency legislation to strengthen coronavirus response plans and ensure NHS as well as social care staff are supported as they deal with significant extra pressure. Powers within this legislation will allow recently retired NHS staff and social workers to return to work without any negative repercussions to their pensions. It will also making changes to councils’ duties under the Care Act which will enable local authorities to prioritise people with the greatest care needs and make the best use of the adult social care workforce.

    Emergency Legislation: Covid Support Force

The Government has announced that up to 20,000 Armed Forces Personnel have been placed at the nation’s disposal to help support our vital public services during this pandemic – if required. This contingency planning will ensure that public services continue to run as they should and give all those working in the NHS, Police and emergency services the confidence and support they need to continue with the fantastic work they are already doing.

    18th March 2020

    School Closures

Today it was announced by the Prime Minister that school closures will come into effect from Monday, March 23rd. This measure has been undertaken despite the fact that school-age children are at very low risk from the effects of coronavirus. School closures are instead intended to protect the elderly and vulnerable from infection by keeping schoolchildren at home and subsequently lowering coronavirus transmission rates. Nurseries, sixth form colleges and private schools will also be encouraged to close.

In order to support the NHS and essential services, the children of key workers will be permitted to continue attending school. Key workers include doctors, nurses, police officers and delivery drivers, and a comprehensive list of these workers will be made available by the Government. Vulnerable children will also be exempt from school closures.

It is important to remember that children should not be looked after by grandparents or other elderly relatives whilst they are not attending school.

    Emergency Legislation: Evictions

The Government is introducing emergency legislation to make eviction proceedings illegal for at least three months. This means that tenants in private and social accommodation who experience financial insecurity as a result of the coronavirus outbreak will be able to retain their rental properties. In order to alleviate subsequent pressure on landlords, the three month mortgage payment holiday announced on March 17th will be extended to landlords whose tenants are in financial difficulty during this period.

    Testing

Testing capacity will be increased to 25,000 hospital patients per day. Test rates are an important part of tracking the spread of coronavirus, and this increase in capacity will allow high-priority cases to be identified and treated as quickly as possible.

    17th March 2020

A joint statement by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out new measures to protect businesses and individuals from the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

A summary of the measures announced yesterday includes:

    Businesses

A £330 billion package of government-backed loans and guarantees for businesses – equivalent to 15% of GDP. This will allow UK businesses to access cash to pay their rent, salaries, suppliers and stock costs.
A new liquidity scheme for large companies, supported by the Bank of England.
An extension of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, providing loans of up to £5 million with interest-free repayments for an initial six month period.
New legal powers allowing the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide any further necessary support for businesses.
A 100% one-year discount on business rates across the entire retail, hospitality and leisure sector, irrespective of rateable value. This means that every single shop, pub, restaurant, theatre, music venue and other business in this sector will be completely exempt from business rates for 12 months.
Cash grants of up to £10,000 for small businesses – an increase from the previous commitment of £3,000 grants.
Individuals

A 3 month mortgage holiday – individuals affected by coronavirus will not make any payments whatsoever towards their mortgages whilst this is ongoing.
Availability of Statutory Sick Pay for those diagnosed with coronavirus, or those self-isolating in line with Public Health England guidance.
Suspended face to face assessments for sickness and disability benefits for 3 months, to protect vulnerable people from exposure to coronavirus.
Relaxation of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor – for the duration of the outbreak, individuals who are self-isolating or otherwise affected by coronavirus will be able to access Universal Credit payments more easily.
Remote sick notes – those who have been advised to self isolate will now be able to obtain sick notes by contacting 111 instead of visiting their GP.
£3.2 million in support for rough sleepers to help them successfully self-isolate.

    Social Distancing

It remains the case that all individuals should heed Government advice to practice social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Necessary measures are as follows:

Ceasing non-essential contact – this means that you should not travel by public transport or taxi, or have contact with other people, unless absolutely necessary.
Working from home – if you can possibly avoid travelling to work you should do so.
Avoiding pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues – you should not visit these places, as doing so will exacerbate the spread of the virus. Such venues are advised to remain closed.
If you, or anyone in your household, has either a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, then you and everyone in your household should stay at home for fourteen days.
The information above applies to everyone, and is particularly important for those over 70, pregnant women, and individuals in poor health. Such measures are likely to be disruptive and frustrating to some extent, but it is absolutely crucial that Government advice is followed with regard to COVID-19. Combating and controlling this virus will require a huge national effort. We must do all we can to protect our NHS, and save the lives of those most at risk.

This means that you should not go out (even to buy food or essentials) other than for exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. If possible, you should ask for help from others for your daily necessities, or make use of delivery services. If you absolutely must leave the house to purchase supplies, you should do what you can to limit your social contact.