I challenged officials from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy over the collapse of energy suppliers and the steep hike in energy prices. This sharp rise in prices is on top of the increase in National Insurance and the £20 per week Universal Credit cut. It means households are being hit hard and the Government must step up with a plan to address this. See here to watch my questions in full.
This week MPs debated the Government’s National Insurance tax rise, and the £20 cut to Universal Credit. Both will hit the poorest hardest. The Government says the National Insurance rise is to raise money for social care, but there is no plan and no detail about how it will do this, nor is there a clear sense of where the money raised will be spent. My colleagues and my committee will continue to press for clarity.
We need to properly fund the NHS and reform the social care system, but a tax rise that hits Generation Rent and the lowest paid, whilst protecting the assets of the wealthiest, is not the way to do it.
The Government continued its habit of making headline announcements whilst providing scant details – this time on social care. The headline is an increase of 1.25 percentage points in National Insurance. But there’s no detail or plan for care workers, nothing on stabilising the social care market that has been rocked by COVID-19, and nothing on financial support for local authorities. See here to watch in full my speech calling out the Government.
The Government must act to tackle the barriers in the immigration system that are preventing those fleeing the Taliban from being reunited with their loved ones.
The immigration and asylum system needs a greater degree of flexibility to keep up with the rapid deterioration of Afghanistan. Currently the Home Office is still expecting those seeking entry into the UK from Afghanistan to have passed an English Language Test. This inflexibility is potentially impacting the safety of those in need of asylum.
A number of constituents wrote to me regarding Israel's treatment of Palestinians.
I wrote to the Government and have recently received a response from the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly MP, on this issue.
Click the pdf link below to read the response in full.
I pressed the Government over the large volume of plastic waste exported from the UK. See below for the response I received from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Click the link to read the response in full.
I've prepared a Thank You NHS video to applaud the hard work of our health and care workers during this pandemic.
Though restrictions have been fully lifted, it's important we still play our part in stopping the spread of COVID. If you haven't yet had your vaccine, please book now.
You can book your vaccine appointment here.
And find out more about the jab from Hackney Council here.
The Northern Ireland Protocol sets out Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit relationship with both the EU and Great Britain. Under the Protocol, Northern Ireland must follow the EU’s rules for bringing goods in and out of the EU while Great Britain sets its own customs and regulatory rules.
As a result of these changes, new checks and controls are necessary for goods coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.