Standing up for families affected by COVID-19

Alongside neighbouring MPs across Sussex, Surrey and Kent I am calling on the Transport Secretary to introduce a package of measures to protect aviation sector businesses and employees affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Gatwick Co-ordination Group are clear that as well as the thousands of airport and airline employees located in Crawley at Gatwick Airport, there are many other families feeling the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain and the wider economy.

In recent days I have also spoken with the Transport Secretary on aviation support, not only through the pandemic but for the industry’s recovery going forward. The call for an extension to employee furlough in this sector and the distribution of Gatwick Airport slot schedules are issues I am continuing to pursue.

To allow us to return to a sense of normality we need to continue efforts to drive out the virus. Our care staff are the heroes of this pandemic and it is vital they continue to receive support.

As part of a Government package of £600 million to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in care homes, West Sussex is set to receive more than £13.3 million of additional support.

Funding will go towards measures including rolling out training on infection control for staff, reducing transmission by supporting providers to reduce workforce movements and stepping up NHS clinical support to care homes.

The effect of COVID-19 on family finances cannot be underestimated. The Government is right to step in to support those who have been working hard all their life, including through help with mortgages.

Families now struggling to pay the mortgage because of COVID-19 will be able to extend their mortgage payment holiday for a further three months, or start making reduced payments, in proposals published by HM Treasury last week.

This application period for a mortgage holiday is to be extended until 31st October to allow people who have not yet had a payment holiday, and are experiencing financial difficulties, to request one. Additionally, the current ban on repossessions of homes will continue to the end of October.

Henry Smith MP