Today, the Chancellor confirmed that the Government will be making changes to the disability benefits. These are going to make many disabled people's lives harder. It is a very worrying and uncertain time for disabled people, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.
We are told, time and time again, that the government should spend taxpayer money wisely, efficiently, and sustainably. Often these pronouncements are followed by promises to use taxpayer money well by cutting government spending and making efficiency improvements. There is an assumption behind these statements that is utterly inaccurate and dishonest, however. Namely, that there is such a thing as "taxpayer money."
As a Treasury Minister, apprehension always hung heavy in the air on the day before a Budget. Would centrepiece polices come across clearly? Would problems we wanted to downplay loom large? Would the Budget go down well with our MPs, with the media and above all with the public? Today George Osborne has much to be apprehensive about. Four months ago in the Spending Review he insisted that the economy was on the up and so "the savings we need are considerably smaller". This week he's been touring TV studios warning that "the storm clouds are clearly gathering" and that billions of pound of fresh cuts now need to be made.
This Budget reminds me of Bill Murray's Groundhog Day. I looked back at a blog I wrote on George Osborne's 2011 budget, and as well as feeling old, I feel repetitive. Over the past seven years budget after budget has been deemed regressive. This budget looks to be no different... The cumulative impact of seven years of regressive budgets has been dire for women and the most vulnerable in society.
There are only 100 days to go until we have to make the most important political decision of a generation. It has been over 40 years since we last had a say on our membership of the EU. Now we have until 23 June to decide whether we take back control and spend our money on our priorities, or keep sending more money and power to Brussels.
With further cuts to public spending expected tomorrow, my request to the Chancellor is to look to the industry that's proved it can deliver results. Making small amounts of capital available to help companies develop, exploit and commercialise their own IP can act as a catalyst for future growth and scale. Fundamentally this means backing ideas and taking risks.
Referendums are won by people getting out, talking to one another and spreading the word that Britain is stronger, safer and better off in Europe. With just 100 days to go, time is running out. Don't hesitate - play your part to keep Britain stronger in Europe.
In December I attended a session at the Dutch National Bank (DNB) focused on creating a financial system that was able to energise investment in the c...
The Government is asked to support environmentally friendly technologies every day. It's called on to invest in renewable generation and to subsidise electric vehicles. But in this case, it could actually make money while helping clean alternatives to diesel to flourish. It seems like one of the simpler decisions that the Chancellor would have to make this week.
It's been easy to miss given the dominance of Europe, but George Osborne must stand before the Commons tomorrow in a very tricky predicament to delive...
'Support for savers' was meant to be one of the key Budget themes. Until recently it seemed likely that the Chancellor would be announcing a radical shake-up of pension saving. But in the face of fierce of opposition from industry, the media and many backbench MPs, the Treasury has now ruled out any changes to pension tax relief in this Budget...
On Wednesday George Osborne will deliver his Budget speech in the Commons for the seventh year running. Over that time, the rhetoric that 'we are all in this together' has faded and evidence has mounted that women and those on low incomes have borne the brunt of austerity policies.
John McDonnell's proposed Fiscal Credibility rule is a break with Osborne's failing "fiscal mandate". Osborne misses every target he sets himself to shrink the deficit. He said he'd clear the deficit entirely by now, but he's £70billion wide of that. He can only meet his target for reducing debt by selling off government-owned assets. And you'd be hard pushed to find a single credible economist who would support Osborne's restrictions on government investment.
Who else wants the facts? This time last year we were all in the midst of being politically brainwashed; watching the same old parties battle it out ...
The Chancellor is a smart man who managed to successfully sell the lie that the global economic recession was Labour's recession. He managed to successfully spin the line that the only measure of economic competency was the budget deficit. But this smart man knows that his luck is about to run out; his record is about to be exposed.
Becoming an astronaut was my dream. I worked hard to get where I am today; but I am acutely aware that I was given many opportunities in life to succeed. I had loving parents who gave me values and direction, a good education and inspirational role models to provide guidance and encouragement. For many young people in the UK, this is unfortunately not the case today. Unemployment, poverty, homelessness, addictions, abuse and mental health problems are issues which are real and prevent our children from fulfilling their potential. We simply cannot choose to ignore these issues, nor let them rob our children of their future.