A real pleasure visiting Olive School this morning to see their new permanent site and listen to some excellent poetry from the pupils.
We all have so much to thank the NHS for. Hackney's NHS heroes went above and beyond for us during the pandemic, working through extraordinary and difficult conditions. The NHS Parliamentary Awards are your chance to help recognise this dedication.
See below for a list of the ten categories I can submit nominations for. More information about each category can be found here.
Pensioners on a low income may be eligible for extra support through Pension Credit. This is separate from your State Pension and may entitle you to further support such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, and help with heating costs.
However, only 70 per cent of those eligible for Pension Credit claimed the benefit in the financial year 2019-20. I have written to the Government to press for an update on what is being done to encourage uptake.
President Putin invaded Ukraine in an unprovoked, unjustifiable, and aggressive act. The Government has announced a package of severe sanctions in coordination with our international allies. But the malign influence of corrupt Russian money in the UK has been clear for some time. The Government has been too slow to act against this dirty Russian money and it must urgently get its own house in order after concerning reports of suspect Russian donations to the Conservative Party.
The Government is currently undertaking a review of the alcohol duty system with changes due to come into effect in February 2023. Under current proposals, the duty on draught beer and cider served in pubs will be cut by 5 per cent. However, this will only be applied to alcohol sold in containers of 40 litres or more. Many small producers use 20 litre or 30 litre containers when supplying to pubs or other drinking establishments.
The Government’s actions have caused a huge injustice against those falsely accused of cheating on English language tests for visas. Its disregard for the impact on people’s lives and reputations is shameful. Many lives have been ruined.
Many have gone to court and proved the Government wrong, but at great cost to themselves and the British taxpayer. The simplest, fairest, and most cost-effective solution for everyone is to allow those accused of cheating to re-sit the test.
Private renting is unaffordable for too many in Hackney.
I’ve seen children grow into adults unable to move out of the family home because they cannot afford private rents, even though they working in good jobs with good salaries.
It was a delight to visit Hackney New Primary School which, due to the pandemic, is the first time in a while I’ve been able to visit a school. As ever, the pupils spoke eloquently about the issues that matter to them, particularly on the climate crisis. I encouraged them to remain involved in politics and write letters so that their voice can be heard.
My visit also included a first-class demonstration of the musical education offered at Hackney New Primary School and the rooftop garden managed entirely by pupils.
The energy price cap increase will hit struggling Hackney families hard. It comes after a decade of dither, delay, and poor planning of Britain’s energy sector by this Government.
The Chancellor's response forces households to pay later for today's high energy bills and gambles on energy prices falling in the future.
There is also little detail on how parts of it will be rolled out. I'll keep pressing for answers.
Not one English river is in a healthy condition, with none meeting good chemical standards and only 14 per cent meeting good ecological standards. It is a shameful record that England has the worst river quality in Europe.