This morning David Owen gave a speech in which he claimed that Britain needs to leave the EU to protect the our Health Service. I have great respect for his work on the NHS but I disagree with Owen about leaving the EU - which will not remove the real threat to our health service.
We need a government that will tighten regulations around tax avoidance, increase transparency and ensure everyone pays their fair share. That is the least that the public - a rightfully angry public - deserve.
The UK can no longer provide tacit shelter, heaven and refuge for the world's rich, powerful and corrupt. The shadowy systems of secrecy which permeate our territories abroad must come to an end. All of us who pay our tax - demand no less. And the poorest who lose out the most - deserve no less.
The sins of Cameron's dad are not his fault. True, but the Government are no strangers to damning the children of people who they think aren't doing their bit for society. Barnardo's, the Child Poverty Action Group and many others have all said that the Conservative Welfare and Work Bill will make poor children poorer. Policies such as only paying tax credits to the first two children in a family directly penalise children for the decisions of their parents. So In Tory Britain poor kids are paying the price for the actions of their parents but David Cameron doesn't have to?
Today sees the introduction of the National Living Wage, a flagship policy of the Chancellor, George Osborne, who boldly announced last year that "Britain deserves a pay rise". However there's one gaping hole in this policy, under 25s, those who keep our service sector running and often fill the most underpaid jobs, will be excluded... Everyone in Britain deserves a pay rise on today, the 1st April; discriminating against a section of the workforce based on age is no more than a joke.
This national living wage is a great step forward. At least 1.5million people will get a pay rise, and higher earnings for those at the bottom mean a better quality of life. But it's also an outrageous trick. Calling it the 'national living wage' is wrong. It's not a living wage at all. It is simply an increase to the national minimum wage - albeit a significant one.
Banks were saved at massive cost when they faced difficult times and it was said to be in our economic interest. Steel has a huge impact on our manufacturing base in terms of production and employment, and the wider effect of a wave of closures would devastate supply chains as well as local and regional economies - not to mention the people and communities who rely on them. So we cannot turn our backs on them in their hour of need. The government must act now.
In the six months I have been Shadow Health Secretary I have seen the contribution EU membership brings to our NHS: support for our highly skilled workforce, world class facilities, access to the latest medical research and technologies, and the economic growth that comes from being part of the single market. Walk away from Europe and we put this at risk. This is not a risk we should be prepared to take.
The 1st April sees an increase in the minimum wage, rebranded as the National Living Wage, to £7.20 for those over 25 years of age. But one group of workers - cycle couriers - will be denied this modest boost to their income.
I didn't think twice about making my stance on the issue inescapably clear on Twitter or saying to you in this piece I'm disabled and the budget was unfair to me and those like me and I will now do everything I can to speak out against the unfairness faced by disabled people. So I guess I need to thank George Osborne for his spectacularly unfair budget because it created a new and highly motivated advocate for disabled rights. Me.
It started with George Osborne's schoolboy braggadocio about abolishing the Lib Dems and ended with him being torn apart by the right wingers we protected him from, following a cruel and foolish budget which would never have allowed to see the light of day. Never in modern politics history has such a biter, been so painfully bit!
on Monday WE launched this tragi-comic video showing women marking the unhappy new year--the new female earning year--to draw attention to a persistent inequity, a gender pay gap that endures almost 46 years after the Equal Pay Act received royal assent. Such campaigns raise awareness but much, much more needs to be done.
After recent years during in which budget announcements have seen some fairly brutal cuts take their toll on Further Education, it was something of a relief for the sector to emerge from Mr Osborne's speech to Parliament last week relatively unscathed on this occasion.
To all of the 300,000 supporters of my Change.org and the tireless campaigners that protests on the streets with me numerous times over the past two years, I want to say a final huge thank you and congratulations. YOU are the ones who have changed history. Without you, this would never have been possible and generations more women may well have been subject to the illogical and overtly sexist tampon tax. For the first time in two years, I can say WELL DONE, WE DID IT!!
As a migrant myself, I remember just how hard I've had to work for my money. So I never forget how hard Azimo's customers are working too, whether they're serving your drinks, checking your blood pressure, educating your kids, caring for your great aunt or running a tech start-up in the office next door. That's why I constantly remind myself that I'm not only in the money business - I'm in the relationship business too. Luckily, much of Britain seems to agree.
I have such a vivid memory of sitting in a geography lesson at school when I was 14 or 15, exasperated by boredom as the teacher systematically made us memorize information about soil that seemed to have little, if any, relevance to my everyday life...