Low pay and wage stagnation have left a gaping hole in the UK's public finances. New research published by the TUC for Fair Pay Fortnight shows that the government is collecting £33.4billion less in income tax and national insurance than had been forecast by the Office of Budget Responsbility, following the longest squeeze on wages since Victorian times.
There is little doubt that GPs have the skills and position within their communities to fulfil a variety of different functions. As costs rise, society must consider how it wants to use and pay for such a scarce resource.
It is a scandal on top of a scandal, which more than bringing our democracy into disrepute exposes it as a sham, with the conflict of interest that lies at its heart a festering sore that has gone untreated for far too long. We have in Britain a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, the consequences of which are tangible.
Currently, the open road is a world too complicated for driverless cars. As such, autonomy is likely to appear first in more controlled situations such as driverless convoys for goods traffic in segregated lanes... The novelty value of an autonomous private car is unlikely to unlock the investment needed to create a transport system of driverless vehicles.
It should come as no surprise, that the existing shortage of GPs is due to become extreme. Many already close to retirement age are deciding to retire early. Others are emigrating, to the Middle East and Australia. Saddest of all, practices are closing altogether as they become unviable.
How I wish I could sit down in front of a microphone with one of HSBC's "ultra wealthy" Swiss banking clients. How I'd love an opportunity to discuss with them the way they look after their money -- and dodge paying taxes.
Avoiding tax is evidently not the answer to addressing these issues of fairness. It just exacerbates the problem; increasing inequality and placing the tax burden on those unable to avoid it, who may have the least to begin with.
If there's any one unifying message springing from Change:HOW? so far - from the Labour politicians, to the Greens and SNP, from Syriza to the Pirate Party, from the direct action activists occupying power stations to the man who organised pillow fights in Trafalgar Square, it's exercise your democratic right to have an opinion, to voice it, act on it and fight for it.
Tax avoidance and evasion can thus be tackled only if corporate and individual wealth taxes are reformed in tandem. And here we are at the crux of the matter: taxes are only as just as the economic and social systems they finance.
It's time for us to be as bold on tackling the staggering income inequality that exists in the UK, by introducing a maximum wage to end the disparity between the top and the bottom. The facts and figures tell it all. In 2013 the average FTSE 100 CEO received total remuneration worth 143 times that of the average employee in their firms.
While this Labour policy may seem progressive, reflecting the reality that many fathers want to be at home with their newborn too, I feel what it's really reinforcing is that after four weeks a man's place is still at work while a woman's is at home with the baby.
Is Ed Miliband committing political hari-kiri? The polls show that Miliband is coming out of the "anti-business" row stronger, not weaker, in news that could shake up the political received wisdom for good.
In today's global race for young talent, it is crucial we continue to develop a talented pool of young workers equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to make a valuable contribution to the economy. By emphasising alternative options to university, such as apprenticeships, the UK can stay ahead in the global race.
The Government's road building programme needs to be scrutinised and the money re-directed. With public services experiencing cuts like never before there are so many better ways this money could be used. Here are just a few ideas for what you could spend £15billion on instead...
It seems then, that much like the high-pressure fluid injected to fracture our rock, mounting pressure from politicians and campaigners is creating cracks throughout Britain. Indeed, it is no longer just the 'Green Blob' that opposes fracking.
There is no uniform rule, not all Northern cities perform badly, not all big cities necessarily have more jobs; all I know is that if we are going to fix this economic mess we are in, we are going to have to grow out of focussing on the North/South divide.