On 8 March the Chancellor must show that he understands both the immediate care crisis and the need for a radical and sustainable long term solution. Older and disabled people and their families and carers have been waiting too long for the answer. Let's hope that their expectations aren't dashed yet again.
"No Jam today", "pump up the Jams", Chancellor in a Jam": an initially staid acronym for 'Just About Managing' families coined by the new Chancellor of the Exchequer has morphed into a major political buzzword in just a matter of days. At its current growth rate, it's got all the ingredients of a meme.
Maybe it slipped the Chancellor's mind. He must have a lot to think about right about now. The long-term downward trend predictions for the British economy; the volatile dip in jobs and investment seen in July; the seven week low in the value of sterling today. Not an easy in-tray. But, in case he has forgotten, a few months ago some bold spending promises were made.
It's a weird priority. Does Osborne seriously believe that in thirty years' time he could have had George Jr. Jr. bouncing on his knee, asking him "Why didn't you take action Grandpa? The science was clear for decades. The warning signs were there. Why didn't you do something about fizzy drinks?" Our Chancellor told us that this was a Budget for the next generation. If he meant it, he'd tax carbon, not carbonated drinks.
In January 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron delivered his now infamous Bloomberg speech, promising to renegotiate the UK's relationship with the EU. Following renegotiation, he said he would present the British public with the "simple choice" of staying in or choosing to leave, based on the terms secured by the end of 2017.
The rabbit out of the hat was the introduction of a national living wage, which will largely be paid for by the reduction in corporation tax, but the announcement of which led the FTSE 100 to pull back from its highs. All in all the budget can be seen as a very business orientated one which the markets have broadly welcomed.
The Chancellor has his sights set firmly on driving economic recovery, and a central component of the plan is his target to increase the value of annual UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020. This equates to approximately a 100% increase from where we currently stand, and there is little disagreement that it is an exceptionally tall order...
George Osborne's speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester dealt with themes we have come to expect from him: an emphasis on fiscal discipline and assurances that he is on the side of aspirational, "hard-working" people the length of the country. There were, however, also features we haven't heard before...
For Julia Donaldson, the Children's Laureate, whose term of office ends this week, has hit out at the pitifully low level of review space granted by the media to children's books. And her powerful passing shot is a launch of a campaign to secure much needed prominence for children's literature in the UK media.