Britain faces huge challenges to compete in a world being transformed by the pace of technological change and the rapid rise of emerging economies, which whilst intensifying competition are also creating huge new markets and new opportunities. The government is failing to meet these challenges and to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and ease the burden on households. After four years of Conservative-led government, wages after inflation are on average £1,600 a year lower than in 2010.
In the first wave of 'problem families', 32% had a disability or long term illness and 82% had a problem related to education, while 15% had children with a problem of substance abuse. This suffering can not be combatted by slashing budgets, but investing time, care and resources into tackling the root causes of these problems, as well as their aftermath.
Local authorities are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their finances. The 'Graph of Doom' that illustrates how councils will have no money to spend by 2020 have become familiar. Local government, as we know it, cannot survive in its current form.
Hurrah: the British economy is now bigger than it was before the crisis! We're doing much better than our critics predicted and better even than our competitors. It's yet more proof that our austerity policies were right all along. Vote Conservative next year.
The Police Service of England and Wales is suffering the biggest cuts of any in Europe. Police Forces are being asked to do more with less. Almost 16,000 police officers have already gone and the police workforce will have reduced by 34,000 by the time of the General Election. With the thin blue line stretched ever thinner, the public is seeing ever fewer Bobbies on the beat.
Conservative crowing on unemployment figures makes me sick. What sort of warped world is it where millions living on poverty pay, trapped in insecure work, is hailed as an economic miracle?This weekend, when Labour gathers to discuss the party's offer to our nations' peoples, top of its list must be the creation of decent jobs paying living wages. Britain's place in tomorrow's world will not be secured by offering our debt-saddled, degree-educated kids shelf-stacking or sandwich making. Economic prosperity for all has a better chance of flourishing if the economy is rebalanced.
Firefighters will join up to two million public sector workers this Thursday as unions come together in co-ordinated industrial action to send a clear message to the government that we have had enough of austerity. Like all other public sector workers, firefighters are under attack from a government which is wrecking our public services and destroying the lives and futures of millions.
Privately politicians acknowledge the difficulties, and some of them admit to being completely overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. Others don't see any merit in robustly addressing the concerns, because children don't vote and are not going to hold them accountable... Together, we can hold our politicians accountable, and demand that they prioritise the needs of vulnerable children who deserve to have their courage matched by society's courage to dream the best reparation for them.
The BBC needs to be fully autonomous, with a truly independent management and executive team that is free from the temper tantrums of governmental talking heads.
Voters from the 28 member nations of the European Union delivered an election earthquake on May 25. Results show major gains in the European Parliament for anti-integration, Euroskeptic parties which span the ideological spectrum from the extreme-right National Front which won the ballot in France, to the far-left Syriza Party which came first in Greece.
Not since the 1930s has nationalism enjoyed the influence and traction in Europe it does today. Across the continent we are witnessing nationalist pa...
Austerity, and online petitions have much in common. Both are dominant online topics, and both have a polarising effect on opinion as to whether they can ever truly yield successful outcomes. Petitions seem to be becoming the reposte of choice for those affected by the worst effects of austerity, and today I read about a case that exemplifies this brilliantly.
Cutbacks are having a detrimental effect on people's recovery or adjusting to living with mental health conditions, why are they making it even harder to get to facilities and get the help?
Increased spending, confidence and confidence in the future all bodes well for the future. But let's not get too excited. It is clear that beneath these headlines, many consumers are still struggling. For instance, positivity over prospects for future personal finances varies significantly across the UK. Londoners and people in the West Midlands are much more likely to feel positive about their future finances than those in the North West or in Wales.... Our data shows men are more likely than women to be feeling positive about their financial situation...
Voices from all wings of the Labour Party, left and right, have called for a bold, radical manifesto for 2015. Labour need to grab public attention with bright, clear and popular policies to ensure Ed Miliband is moving into 10 Downing Street on 8th May 2015.
The economic crisis, not just the recent downturn, is all too real and unprecedented in its apparent resistance to the interventions of a clueless political class. But exaggerating the extent of the so-called 'food poverty' problem isn't helping anybody.