I spoke in a debate on No Recourse to Public Funds. This is a condition on some visas, whereby people are allowed to live and work in the UK but have no access to taxpayer-funded benefits. This may seem reasonable, but in places like Hackney, where rents are so high, it means no access to housing benefit for hardworking taxpayers. This is a real concern for many in Hackney and puts them in some really difficult situations.
I was pleased this week to see a small change to the Government's Retained EU Law Bill. The Bill included a 'sunset clause' which meant that if by the end of this year the Government had not decided to keep an EU law, then it would be automatically scrapped. Several thousand pieces of important protections for food standards, the environment, and workers would have been lost. While the Government has now withdrawn this clause, there is still a risk it will remove these important laws. I’ll keep pressing the Government to keep these protections.
The Public Accounts Committee held a hearing on government schemes, administered by local authorities, to support small businesses during the early days of Covid. There's a been a high level of fraud and error in these and my worry is that the Government will never recoup the incorrectly granted money. Look out for our report on this in due course.