This article was first published in the Hackney Gazette. To read the latest edition, see here

Parliament returned from its festive break this week. But the new year sadly hasn’t meant new ways of thinking or acting for this Government – it is still stuck in its wasteful spiral that prioritises chasing headlines at the taxpayers’ expense.  

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See above for my weekly round-up of what I've been up to in Hackney and Westminster. This week I visited Fellows Court in Haggerston to hear from residents on the maintenance issues they've been facing, including leaks and a lack of hot water. The Public Accounts Committee looked at government efficiency savings - too often a byword for cuts. And Parliament was dominated by the Horizon IT scandal. 

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See above for my weekly round-up of what I've been up to in Hackney and Westminster. This week I voted against the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, challenged senior officials at the Home Office on the costs of the Rwanda scheme, and visited the Bishopsgate Goodsyard development. 

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Please see above for my weekly round-up of what I've been up to in Hackney and Westminster. This week I spoke about shoplifting in the Criminal Justice Bill debate, challenged the Government's record on onshore wind, and saw Aladdin at the Hackney Empire.

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This article was first published in the Hackney Gazette. To read the latest edition, see here

A big welcome to the new Mayor of Hackney – Caroline Woodley. She is a formidable campaigner, dedicated public servant, and tireless champion of Hackney. I know she will always protect and fight for Hackney.

But after thirteen years of Conservative government, austerity, and deep cuts to local authority budgets, she inherits a tough situation.

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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.

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The Government unveiled its forthcoming legislative agenda this week in a ceremony called the King's Speech. This lays out the laws the Government want to pass in the next session of Parliament, which is likely to be the last one before the next General Election. Unfortunately, this Government has run out of steam, and its plan for the next year is very thin. There are some welcome changes - on renters' rights and leasehold reform - but the proposals aren't enough to satisfy the problems so many renters and leaseholders are facing. 

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