Susanne Wood – Written Evidence (LBC0121)

 

Are there any positives you would take from this pandemic?

What are the things you are most worried about?

What do you most hope changes for the better

The pandemic has raised awareness of:

  • INEQUALITIES in our society in the UK eg quality of housing and access to outdoor space; unequal access to home schooling via technology and support at home.
  • DISCRIMINATION and devaluing of certain groups e.g. BAME (Black Lives Matter); elderly people in care homes; so-called “unskilled low-waged workers; young people whose access to higher education and work has been decided by unfair grading systems.

The pandemic has shown us what really matters:

  • The health service, care workers and other “essential workers”.
  • Government provision of support for those not able to work has been a lifeline for many.
  • The natural world as benefited from less pollution from vehicle transport use.
  • Certain vulnerable groups will continue to suffer: young people, the elderly, those who were shielding, the unemployed, poorer communities in the UK and poor people overseas.
  • Increasing resentment of other groups in society because people fear losing what little advantage they have.
  • My colleagues in the care sector will never earn more than the minimum wage.
  • My son will not be able to go back to working as a musician.
  • My son who has been shielding will continue to be housebound and his life will be on hold.
  • My elderly parents will not get the hospital treatment they need.
  • As the immediate threat of the virus recedes, we will forget what we have learned and go back to our old ways.

 

 

 

  • A proper valuing of all members of society that allows everyone to contribute and be rewarded for their work and supported in their needs.
  • Fairer distribution of wealth: a review of the wide difference in pay for certain jobs, and unfair access to high income jobs through networks and educational advantage.
  • A review of business practices that have prioritised personal gain over the common good e.g. shareholder profiteering, and success measured by growth rather than by value to society.
  • A proper valuing of our natural world, including farming and food production.
  • Manufacturing that is more localised to avoid use of environmentally damaging transportation, and exploitation of workers overseas.
  • Consideration of people in poorer countries and sharing of support.

 

 

I am 59 years old and live in Warwick with my husband and 2 adult sons.  I am a support worker for adults with a learning disability (on minimum wage), my husband is a freelance copywriter (currently looking for work), my elder son works for a website design company (currently working from home), my younger son is a musician (currently out of work).  We have been shielding together as my elder son has crohn’s disease.  I am submitting this evidence because I believe now is an opportunity to “press the reset button” and I would like to share my views on what that would involve.

24 August 2020