I challenged the Chancellor on the Government's inability to tackle COVID loan scheme fraud during pandemic. The Chancellor claims he had to act quickly at the start of the pandemic, but with even just a short pause for better planning and preparedness, some of estimated £26 billion paid out under fraudulent claims would have been saved. The money lost to fraud would have mitigated the rise in National Insurance contributions that will hit on 1 April. This comes at the worst possible time with rising prices and soaring inflation creating the perfect storm for households.
The rise in the threshold for paying National Insurance contributions does nothing for pensioners and people on benefits. With gas and electricity costs soaring, the Government is continuing its decade-long habit of dither, delay, and poor planning when it comes to the energy market. It is shameful that those with no financial resilience are not getting the support they need.
I will continue urging the Government to step up and act immediately to support struggling Hackney families.