The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, unveiled his Autumn Statement. Unfortunately, there was very little in there to help people in Hackney. Thanks to the thirteen years of failed Conservative government, households are paying more tax than they have for decades. And although the Chancellor made a great deal of cutting National Insurance by two per cent, this will do little to help the one in two Hackney children growing up in poverty. There was also little support for local government, which has had its budgets squeezed both by inflation and cuts. I did welcome the Government's announcement that it will unfreeze local housing allowance, but this will only work if there is sufficient private rented housing at the right levels. In Hackney, there is just not enough of that at the moment. It's clear that we need a new government, and we need it now.
The Public Accounts Committee published its report on the condition of school buildings, see here for a summary and here for the full report. It found that there are currently 700,000 pupils studying in buildings which are not fit for purpose. The committee also quizzed senior officials at the Home Office and the department responsible for housing and communities on the 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme. We wanted to know what lessons have been learnt. Do look out for our report on this issue in the new year.