Need for stronger protection for renters
With a quarter of Londoners living in the private rented sector, we need to see stronger protections put in place for them over the coming months. It has been welcome to see that the Government have announced that all court proceedings relating to housing possession should be suspended for 90 days. In turn, landlords have been given a three-month mortgage payment holiday, where needed.
However, many Londoners are asking what will happen after this period. A significant number of renters have already fallen into financial hardship and are unable to cover the costs of living.
It is inevitable that leaving tenants to negotiate the repayment of any rent arrears with their landlords and agencies, without adequate support, will lead to widespread cases of unfair and unregulated disputes.
To prevent this from happening, the Chancellor should proportionately increase local housing allowance and statutory sick pay to cover average London rents. On top of this, we must also see an end to the five-week wait for initial Universal Credit payments.
If we continue to kick the can down the road, we could sadly be facing a flood of evictions in the Autumn. Let’s stop that from happening.
Navin Shah AM
London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow
An irresponsible act by a few members of Tablighi Jammat (AV dated 11-17 April) added the economic cost India is paying in terms of prolonged lock down and human sufferings especially daily wage earners. Religious leaders should build bridges of harmony in society, improve emotional bonds amongst various sectors of society and create brotherhood.
To trace a few hundred misbehaving Jammat members, the government of India had to spend lots of human and financial resources because they did not come forward voluntarily to isolate themselves to prevent highly contagious Covid19 virus.
I think, to avoid recurrence of such incidents, more intelligence, policing and CCTV surveillance will be needed. Prior registration with full contact details will be required and the relevant laws may need to be amended so that the enforcement authorities can get hold of concerned individuals quicker and respond swiftly.
Reward our dedicated NHS staffs financially
While our politicians are paying lip service in abundant to hard press, dedicated NHS staffs; some have come out of retirement to work in front-line, losing their lives, it is time to reward them financially so that their family members are taken care of.
Every public worker, including bus drivers, who may lose their lives, should be compensated to the tune of at least £100,000, in addition to their legal entitlement. It will be drop in the ocean compared to £3 billion daily cost of fighting Coronavirus, if necessary, fund should come out of Defence and Overseas Aid budget.
While most citizens are united in fighting Coronavirus, tiny minority is fleecing public, especially OAPs, playing on their fear, selling fake medicine, even vaccination, especially online. So be warned!
At 0:1%, our bank rate is one of the lowest among industrialized world, any lower and it would be negative rate, in line with Japan where consumers have to pay banks to deposit their cash! Low rate is supposed to boost economy but in reality it may lower spending power, especially of OAPs who rely on their interest income to boost their miserly pension.
While OAPs are losing income, borrowers are not benefiting, as financial institutions have failed to pass on benefits to their clients, instead using it to boost their profits, as some of them still charge interest of 20% and mortgage rate has gone up since the change in BOE lending rate.
It is high time there is justice, balance between savers and borrowers.
We read your article about people keeping positivity while the virus has completely uprooted us from our normal lives. Medics are mentally and physically taxed so much, yet they are doing their best. I have heard of people who have suffered from coronavirus too, yet they have recovered and come out with success stories that give us positivity.
The bottomline remains, that 98% of those admitted with coronavirus, will get better and go home safe. A doctor friend once explained, that every year a lot of people die of the usual flu. The problem with the coronavirus is, people falling ill at the same time- the NHS is not equipped to look after so many people with same problems, and same requirements.
But as the Queen’ said, this too shall pass. And we will be part of history- where the whole of mankind together fought to defeat a common enemy.
New Asian Voice
When I was first handed over the new Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar- a combination of the two in one newspaper 2 weeks back, I was not sure how to react. Thoughts were many, I was a bit apprehensive of the quality and the quantity. But I must say this stop gap period arrangement reads fine, and my family and I are enjoying your two-in-one version of the newspaper.
I read your article on the front page of Asian Voice last week. It is good that Sir Starmer is trying to mend the relationship with the British Indians. When we came to the UK in the 60s, the Tories were not welcoming towards us. The Labour party was our natural choice. Today’s Labour party which is so divisive is something we could never imagine of. I hope the party will bridge the gap between the Indians, especially Hindus and themself. It is important to have a choice for Indians voting in this country as well.