Today's Budget is another smoke and mirrors budget. Promises of extra money unravel when you look into the details.For instance, the school settlement is not enough to make up for past cuts.

The Public Accounts Committee has also published a report pointing out that the Government's planned increase in school funding is lower for pupils in the most deprived areas and higher for the least deprived. See here to read that report. 

 

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This week Parliament returned from conference recess in a sombre mood following the tragic death of my colleague Sir David Amess MP. Sir David was brutally killed during an advice surgery in his constituency of Southend West last Friday. Supporting constituents is a vital part of our role as MPs in a representative democracy and I will continue to be available through the normal channels. My thoughts are with Sir David's widow and children. 

 

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This week the Prime Minister addressed the Conservative Party conference. His speech was heavy with the bluff and bluster but light on the detail for how this Government will support families hit hard by the cost of living crisis. He gave his speech on the same day the Government cut £20 per week from Universal Credit.

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Parliament
 

COP 26 and climate emergency roundtable
Global leaders are meeting in Glasgow between the 1-12 November to coordinate the urgent next steps we must take to prevent a climate catastrophe. Leaders will also present their nationally determined contributions (each country’s roadmap for cutting their national carbon emissions). It will be the biggest summit our country has ever hosted and one of the most important.

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I challenged officials from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy over the collapse of energy suppliers and the steep hike in energy prices. This sharp rise in prices is on top of the increase in National Insurance and the £20 per week Universal Credit cut. It means households are being hit hard and the Government must step up with a plan to address this. See here to watch my questions in full.

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This week MPs debated the Government’s National Insurance tax rise, and the £20 cut to Universal Credit. Both will hit the poorest hardest. The Government says the National Insurance rise is to raise money for social care, but there is no plan and no detail about how it will do this, nor is there a clear sense of where the money raised will be spent. My colleagues and my committee will continue to press for clarity.

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We need to properly fund the NHS and reform the social care system, but a tax rise that hits Generation Rent and the lowest paid, whilst protecting the assets of the wealthiest, is not the way to do it. 

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The Government continued its habit of making headline announcements whilst providing scant details – this time on social care. The headline is an increase of 1.25 percentage points in National Insurance. But there’s no detail or plan for care workers, nothing on stabilising the social care market that has been rocked by COVID-19, and nothing on financial support for local authorities. See here to watch in full my speech calling out the Government. 

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