f governments fail to act in closing tax avoidance schemes and loopholes, there is a strong possibility that future profits resulting from lower taxes will simply end up in the pockets of senior managers in a tax haven, far out of reach of the British government and certainly not going towards helping the 1 million people who now rely on emergency food hand-outs. It is time for Labour to Act.
In 2013, the government deficit, according to the latest available Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, was £92.9billion, which was 5.8% of GDP. All our major political parties are fixated on getting this deficit down by cutting expenditure and raising taxes. But should they be quite so determined to do so? Is austerity really the best way to cut the deficit?
When people steal from the state through benefit fraud (usually out of desperation), there's public outcry. But when the state steals from the people by failing to provide even a basic standard of living, whilst corruption and tax evasion runs unchecked, we're told it's all part of a necessary strategy for economic recovery.
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?