The tests for the spending review are clear: will it make working people better off and deliver a much-needed focus on growth, skills, productivity and infrastructure; or is it business as usual with a short-sighted spending review, underpinned by the Chancellor's fiscal fundamentalism and delivering little beyond false economies.
There's compelling evidence waste on the tax side of the Government's P&L but Osborne, quite literally, does not want to know. This is not where you get to if you're trying to "eliminate the deficit". It's not the way to delivery "security for working people". It's not what you do if you have a genuine focus on "the best value for money for taxpayers". But an ideological exercise in shrinking the State? It looks like this.
Working for a charity, I am explicitly told not to mix my politics with my work. And I get it, I do, but what has occurred to me lately is the numer...
We owe this generation so much more than vapid rhetoric about how they've never had it so good. They should demand more of their so-called leaders in this out of touch Tory Government.
Six months since we lost the general election, and Labour has moved on but cannot lose sight of the hard truth that a large section of the public still doubt our ability to make the right decisions on tax, spend and investment. This was top of voters' concerns last May. Success in the elections next May, and in 2020, depends on getting to grips with it fast.
What should the state do? That's the question we asked at our Shrinking Pains event on Tuesday morning... Below we select seven charts that show where we are - and where we're heading.
As another report from the Sutton Trust exposes the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage on children's educational attainment, is it any wonder that young people today are struggling?
Whilst gender parity by any measure is welcome, we should be wary of hanging out more flags to mark non-executive roles, and, frankly, not even very many of them. Why is it taking so long? We might charitably say that the bias is unconscious. But that hardly constitutes an excuse any longer.
Women work as hard as men in the workplace and deserve the same recognition for it. They should not be sent a message that their labour is undervalued or worth less than their male counterparts - because it is not - and our pay gap pledge is that we will not give up the fight until this is reflected in pay packets across the country.
The Housing and Planning Bill making its way through parliament has the clear ambition of increasing the supply of homes in our country. However to meet rising demand, and the government's necessarily ambitious housing targets, we are going to have to be even more radical...
Living Wage Week is a time to take stock of the low pay challenge that confronts a growing number of working people in the UK - and think about what more can be done to tackle it. Despite the many living wage victories, the outlook is bleak.... Against this backdrop, we should see George Osborne's 'national living wage' for what it is - an enhanced minimum wage. And while it would be churlish to deny that it will do some good (it was after all a policy that was swiped straight out of Labour's 2015 manifesto), we need to recognise three big flaws in the government's way of going about things that reveal the weakness of its approach to tackling lowpay.
Productivity improvements are crucial to the UK's economic competitiveness and to improving workers' living standards. As Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist, says: "Productivity isn't everything, but in the long run it is almost everything."
This last year there has been much to celebrate, such as the government's partial conversion to the cause and the breakthrough for the Living Wage in parts of the retail sector. The fight is far from over, our objective has not been reached. Many employers, earning big profits, continue to refuse to share fair rewards with their employees, and the smoke and mirrors of the government's phoney Living Wage, only makes it easier for them to hide.
Open data fuels economic growth. Many believe in the theory and ask for the proof. A new report by Nesta and the ODI adds to the evidence of the impac...
The Chancellor's flawed and ill-thought out cuts to tax credits were put on ice by the House of Lords this week. Now he has to bring new proposals forward. There are 3.3million families, 5,300 of them in my constituency, worrying about what he will do.
PMQs today made it pretty clear: Corbyn is starting to employ that headmaster stare. Today, it went from a rather stern warning look to a full-on, narrow-eyed, flashing-gazed glare at the Tory front bench who promptly erupted from muffled laughter to full-on cheers, accompanied by the classic chanting of "Ooooh", which reminded me all too strongly of schooldays seated in front of a well-intentioned but sadly incompetent supply teacher.