It’s been a sombre two weeks after the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on the 8 September. All parliamentary business was suspended during the national period of mourning as thousands of members of the public visited Westminster Hall to pay their final respects to the Queen. I was pleased to gather with residents of Hackney to remember Her Majesty, including at a memorial service at St John at Hackney the day before her funeral.
Today the Chancellor made a statement in the House of Commons in which he outlined the Government’s economic priorities. This includes cutting the top rate of tax for those earning over £150,000, removing the cap on bankers’ bonuses, and reversing a planned increase in the rate of corporation tax. The Government also announced a six-month support package for businesses struggling with their energy bills earlier in the week. But instead of windfall tax on oil and gas giants, borrowing will go through the roof. I challenged the Chancellor directly on his casino economics, which is gambling with our country’s finances and placing a heavy burden on our national debt – see here.
And the Public Accounts Committee looked at the Government’s promises and record in delivering affordable housing. The Government has fallen short of its targets so far and it is looking doubtful that the newer reduced targets will be achieved either. Crucially the Government just doesn’t want to build enough social rented housing, which we so desperately need in Hackney. Families living in temporary and overcrowded accommodation are in urgent need of a safe, dry, roof over their heads as well as a permanent tenancy. I’ll keep pressing the Government to step up and deliver more affordable homes and homes for social rent.