George Osborne's budget speech was, as usual, a masterclass in combining the rhetoric of change with reality of continuity. Britain has, according to Osborne, left 'the age of irresponsibility' behind. There is very little basis for this claim. Instead, the Budget, Osborne's first without Lib Dem shackles, perpetuates his reckless stewardship of the British economy.
The way this Budget divides young and old is everything that's wrong with Westminster politics. Life has got much harder for young people and there seems to be no recognition of that or any attempt to correct it. I'm standing to lead Labour and take my party out of that bubble. Under my leadership, Labour will help everyone get on in life and not leave the younger generation behind.
This is a budget for working people, pure and simple. It's what makes me so proud to be a Conservative. Rewarding hard work is a central Conservative mission and today's budget couldn't show that better.
George Osborne has always been described as a "political chancellor", as if there was really any other kind. But his first Tory-only budget confirmed he is more than comfortable with the nasty politics of division and hypocrisy.
In today's budget, George Osborne sets out a path for the government's fiscal deficit over the next five years. His aim is to get the overall budget into surplus by 2019/20. This is one year later that planned back in March - a welcome smoothing of the path for eliminating the government's deficit. But he may still be moving too fast.
Today George Osborne sets out his first budget as Chancellor in a majority Conservative Government. Talk is cheap - now is the time to put to the test his claim that the Tory party can really be the party of working people. After all the extensive briefing, it's not looking good for George Osborne's claims for his Party... For all the rhetoric, too many of the Tories' policies remain anti-working people. A real agenda for working people today based on Labour values would mean not just the long overdue increases in the minimum wage, but strong incentives for the living wage, continued support for tax credits, a plan for a childcare revolution to support working parents.
A few weeks back the Guardian permitted a sad scaremongering article from Professor Stephen Peers of Essex University. I tried to give a question to p...
Dear Kenny... You're absolutely correct. From the housing crisis, to the spiralling cost of living, to the growing chasm between the richest and poorest, our city faces a range of issues that urgently need addressing.
As the Budget approaches we await the details of deep cuts in welfare spending, but the fact that they are coming is beyond doubt. Every sinew is being strained in the cause of deficit reduction. Or is it? Largely absent from public debate to date is the more than £100billion that goes each year into tax reliefs - lower taxes for particular groups or activities.
We need a Leader who knows what challenges ordinary people face day to day, and who is committed to helping them. And as I see it, there are six major challenges that politicians need to get to grips with... That's why I'm backing Yvette Cooper to be the next Leader of the Labour Party. As a working mum, she understands the pressures on modern family life.
Tory guru Steve Hilton has had a revelation: low pay causes poverty. From one Steve to another, welcome to the real world. But as your party is about to unveil its first full blue-blooded Tory Budget in 19 years you need to think a bit more about what - and who - drives poverty in this country... The scale of cuts - the deepest yet to our public services and benefits - will hit all but the very wealthiest. Women, the disabled, the low-waged, those not in work, those who need help with ever-spiralling housing costs and children will not be spared.
Amid the flurry of pre-election pledges made by each party, the Conservatives' 'Tax-Free Minimum Wage' attracted a curious mix of attention... Rather than a trivial tweak, the implications of this policy are potentially substantial and could lead to additional tax cuts, which could be announced as early as at next week's Budget.
Now that the safety net of local welfare support has shrunk and we face many more ominous cuts, who knows what the current state of poverty looks like now or what these figures will be by 2020? All I can say for sure is so long as this constant level of need remains, we will continue to provide for those who need support most.
The only sensible way forward is to cancel the Greek debt (or at least substantial swathes of it) and for the international community to support Greece's democratically elected government to rebuild its society and its economy. I ask my fellow Labour leadership candidates to echo this call to the Prime Minister, and for him to heed this call. It is in our own interests to do so. Let's use this as an opportunity to remake a Europe of solidarity.
Britain has become less collective, citizens and consumers feel more empowered and many individual rights - through equal marriage for instance - are better recognised. But - and this is the bad news - much of our economy, society and politics remains thoroughly illiberal and conservative.
Now is the time to provide Greece with a truly sustainable aid programme that helps Greece out of intensive care. Greeks and Europeans, need a resolution, both political and economic. What is needed is a show of common sense and a move towards European consensus that would strengthen EU and unite its citizens even more but the clock is ticking.