New measures came into effect this week to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Face masks are once again mandatory in shops and on public transport, all international arrivals must take a PCR test, and any anyone in contact with a suspected Omicron case must self-isolate. The Government gave MPs a chance to vote on these measures, but this was only after they had been introduced. The best protection is still the vaccine - book your first, second or booster dose (if you're eligible) here.
The Government unveiled its proposed changes to Small Brewers Relief which provides reduced rates of beer duty for small brewers (see here). We have many excellent small breweries in Hackney. I met with a Treasury minister to make the case that small brewers not be adversely affected by the wider changes to alcohol duty that are currently being consulted on. You can respond to the consultation here.
In the Public Accounts Committee, I pressed the most senior civil servant at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on what resources will be given to local governments to support refugees in the long term. See question 5 onwards in the transcript here. You can watch the meeting in full here. Locally, Hackney has been doing excellent work supporting refugees from Afghanistan. I attended a concert organised by De Beauvoir Welcomes Refugees to sponsor an Afghan family in Hackney. You can donate here.