Figures released this week show inflation reaching nine per cent in April whilst for the poorest household this figure is closer to eleven per cent. This means the price of weekly essentials (like food, energy, and transport) is going up, hitting the poorest households the hardest. Already one-in-two Hackney children live in poverty when housing costs are taken into accounts – struggling Hackney families are being pushed to the brink. The Government’s response is to bury its head in the sand. It is refusing to see the urgency of the issue.
Labour is calling on the Government to support a one-off tax on the profits of oil and gas giants. The money raised could be used to support struggling households facing a cost-of-living crisis. But the Government voted against these proposals this week. I’ll keep pressing the Government to change its mind.
The Public Accounts Committee published a report highlighting the estimated £4.9 billion lost to fraud and error in the COVID-19 relief schemes. The Government offered an open goal to fraudsters and embezzlers who have cashed in after basic safeguards were dropped and warning signs missed. Lessons should have been learned from the banking crisis a decade ago. Instead £4.9 billion of taxpayers’ money was lost – sums which could have been used to help struggling families facing a cost-of-living crunch. See here to read the report in full and see here to read a summary.
And I held a meeting in Hackney to discuss the poor state of repairs and maintenance for residents living in some housing association homes. It was helpful to hear directly their experiences and difficulties, which I am raising with their landlord. If you’re a housing association tenant experiencing difficulties with repairs or maintenances, please let me know.