The Autumn Statement is a ritualistic sham. The Chancellor's statement to Parliament gives the illusion of accountability. In fact, Parliament is powerless to do anything but rubber stamp his plans. Unsustainable spending is possible because there are no real checks on the Treasury's dominion over taxpayers' money. The solution is to empower Parliament.
When Osborne started to address the House of Commons about the tampon tax I was confused, but still hopeful. Might the Mother of Parliaments finally witness women-friendly policy-making? Er, no. I was staggered. I am still staggered. Not only is this decision incredibly disappointing, it is incredibly revealing.
Many of us didn't believe it when the Tories attempted to detoxify, but it's a cold comfort that we were proved right. Now, with Cameron and Osborne riding roughshod over our environmental protections and welfare state, the toxicity is back with a vengeance.
Whilst a renewed focus on investment in affordable housing is welcome, it must be money for a broad range of tenures that caters to all families that desperately need secure and affordable homes.
It is important we act, and act now to reverse the course that threatens the future of hundreds of thousands of young women. I am delighted to be undertaking this vital work.
When George Osborne took to the TV studios today to sell his latest "promise" on the NHS, many people will have felt a touch of scepticism about whether it really does what it says on the tin. And they would have been right to feel that way.
In opposition to the expansion of Heathrow are the usual suspects. The Adullamites, those unbearable holy Greens who want us to return to living in caves for fear of the slightest emission... However, the Government needs to consider the benefit of the country as a whole, economically and socially expanding Heathrow makes sense, further delay does not.
The savage losses faced by working families fly in the face of any claim to be a 'one nation' government, or one that has working people at its heart, or David Cameron says that work will be rewarded.... The Chancellor simply can't just proceed with his original plans... The smart move would be to drop the changes to the threshold and taper altogether and focus on getting employers to pay the real living wage of £8.25 a hour or £9.40 in London. That is what would make a real difference to the lives of millions of low income working households struggling to make ends meet.
While we will not oppose every measure in George Osborne's spending review, we will judge each decision on whether it is needed to abolish the deficit, whether it will help young people build a better life than their parents and whether it will help small businesses and entrepreneurs. What that means in practice is that we want to see five things delivered in today's review...
With the spending review looming there is one budget cut we should all get behind. Britain is paying out £10billion a year on PFI loans taken out to build schools and hospitals. With so many public institutions in financial difficulty, tomorrow Labour needs to offer both an expose of Osbourne's fiscal callousness and credible and radical alternatives for securing value for money for the British public
The English care home sector currently looks after about 450,000 vulnerable people a year, mostly frail elderly people, many with dementia. Shortage of funding means it is now on the verge of collapse with serious consequences for those in the homes, the businesses and their staff and not least the NHS.
At the risk of feeding the collective hysteria that characterises public perceptions (or prejudices) of welfare spending, benefit cuts have not yet been one of the main contributors to the coalition or Conservative governments' austerity agenda.
Ahead of the Autumn Statement on Wednesday, all eyes are on the Chancellor's plans for tax credits. His welcome promise to listen to the concerns raised when the Lords debated the matter, and commitment to protect people in 'transition,' means families up and down the country are waiting anxiously for more detail.
This week the Chancellor of the Exchequer will stand up in the House of Commons and set out how public spending will be change across government departments over the next four years... We've been thinking about what the Chancellor should do, and have picked out five things that he should consider as he finalises the spending review...
Delivering reforms that stick to these principles and that make the Northern Powerhouse a reality would help to show that the Spending Review is about more than just cuts. Alongside reforms to employment support, it is a prime opportunity for the Chancellor to present a more positive side to his plans for the next five years and beyond.
The Chancellor has a simple choice to make on Wednesday. He can risk writing off generations of autistic people and their families by cutting crucial services across social care, disability benefits and disabled children's services. Or he can show leadership and keep the Conservatives' pledge to be family friendly and protect the vulnerable.