We need to make people want to work in this country and as far as I'm concerned we should abolish the National Minimum Wage, and replace it with a National Living Wage.
Since the election, output for every hour worked has not gone up - it's gone down, whilst output per worker has followed the same trajectory. We're actually less productive than we were in 2010. This appalling record is far worse than the last years of the 1970s, long deemed the moment when 'British disease' reached its peak.
Huge progress has been made in recent years to address the gender disparity in the construction sector, admittedly from an extremely low starting point - but with just 8.5% of UK engineers women, much more needs to be done quickly to not only address the gender gap but to avert a skills shortage in the UK construction and engineering industry.
Economics is politics and it can never be a science. Yet the dominant neoclassical school of economics succeeded in changing the name of the discipline from the traditional 'political economy' to 'economics' at the turn of the 20th Century.
The Bank of England is getting a knack for sharp screeching U-turns, not ideal when governor Mark Carney's beloved "forward guidance" plan over the path of interest rates is meant to be clear and credible... Yet now it seems they're just making things up as they go.
In my new book Economics: The User's Guide, I aim to show the reader how to think, not what to think, about the economy. There are a few important things to keep in mind when you are 'using' economics...
As soon as anyone suggests that the UK exchange rate is too high and that the pound is overvalued, there's an immediate reaction - and not usually a good one! But the problem is that the high pound is causing us all sorts of difficulties and it's affecting every man, woman and child in the UK right now, today.
One of the Mansion House speeches from George Osborne and Mark Carney on Thursday was set to grab the headlines. George Osborne's speech about increased regulation of currency markets has been a long time coming, with plans to extend legislation over LIBOR fixings to cover other benchmarks...
Symbolism doesn't get much better than this - thousands of homeless Brazilians set up camp outside São Paolo's stadium as it prepares for the opening game of the most expensive World Cup ever.
The TTIP could be a good deal. It has the potential for job creation, higher wages for workers and a better deal for consumers. Trade across the Atlantic between the US and the EU is a fact of life and the US is the UK's biggest export market. If people want to buy and sell across the water, we should make it convenient for them to do so. But here is the key - we should make an agreement that helps ordinary people, not big corporations and big business.
Not only is the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association's planned action to bring London grinding to a halt by gridlocking the streets today one of the most selfish pieces of industrial action I have ever heard of, but for me it's a reckless attack on our city that could easily cost lives.
Last year's Queen's Speech tackled a number of key consumer issues, with Bills on the care system, energy reform, and consumer rights. We were hoping for a similar focus on the needs of consumers this year, and we weren't disappointed.
Evidence of increasing inequality has been accumulating for 30 years. Taxes were reduced, the financial, property and IT sectors boomed and billionaires appeared. Since then, the number of billionaires based in Britain is reported to have increased tenfold to 104.
Immigration is good. There, I've said it. Now I wait to be struck down by a thunder bolt. A country that attracts immigrants is a healthy country. It boasts a growing economy, a stable society, and offers a safe environment for children to grow up in. Its people live under the rule of law, with freedom of speech and of religion. It's a country of which I'm immeasurably proud to be a citizen. Without immigrants, Britain would be a much poorer place. It would be hungrier, dirtier and less healthy. It's immigrants who pick and pack the food that we eat, immigrants who clean our offices and streets, immigrants who keep the NHS going and care for the elderly in their homes and nursing homes.
If you continually cater towards the worst case scenario all sense of individuality and creativity is lost. In the arts community a defensive attitude is what leads to dull records, drab theatre and films that are so formulaic thought is not necessary. The fear factor spills over into all avenues of life. I want to remain optimistic. I want to be allowed to act with some suitable risk and courage and I want responsibility for my life...
With the publication of HM Treasury's paper 'Scotland Analysis: Fiscal policy and sustainability' the people of Scotland have a clearer insight into the personal costs of Scottish independence... But there can be little doubt that the figure of £1,400 for 20 years given in the Treasury paper greatly underestimates the costs that are facing the people of Scotland if they vote for independence.