It’s been a sleazy couple of weeks with the Government defending the indefensible – MPs using their position to lobby Parliament or the Government on behalf of paying clients. This is completely unacceptable and I joined my Labour colleagues in voting to rule this out completely. But the Government’s majority meant this initiative was defeated. The Government, instead, tabled a loosely-worded motion that will see this issue kicked further into the long grass. It means the next time this issue will be revisited is in February. See here for a transcript of the debate on this issue.
I also challenged the Government over its approach to Northern Ireland. It is just under a year since the Government rammed through its Brexit deal; one of the reasons I could not vote for the deal was because it did not have a proper solution for Northern Ireland. Now we are seeing the failures of the Brexit deal come home to roost with Northern Ireland, effectively, sacrificed on the altar of Brexit. I’ll keep pressing the Government to reach a sustainable solution.
The Public Accounts Committee questioned Treasury officials about how the Government plans to deal with taxation and the funding of the transition to a net zero carbon economy. The transition will see the Treasury lose sources of income, for instance, the shift to electric vehicles will see tax receipts from fuel duty significantly fall. The Government must consider how it will shape taxation in the future and keep the public in the loop. I also pressed on how we measure the carbon footprint of imports into the country. See here to watch a recording of the session.
COVID-19 rates are still very high in Hackney. If you are eligible for a booster vaccine, please take it up. Find out further information and book here. This winter it is especially important to stay protected from the flu as fewer people will have built up natural immunity during the pandemic. If you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill. See here for further information about the flu jab. It is safe to have both the flu and the COVID-19 booster vaccines at the same time.