The Autumn Statement was the Government's last chance to ensure the economic recovery does not bypass the worst off. This opportunity was missed.
In his Autumn Statement on Wednesday, the Chancellor reaffirmed his plan to eliminate the fiscal deficit (public sector net borrowing) by 2018/19. He is also going to put the issue to a vote in parliament. He will undoubtedly win the vote, but if the next government chooses to follow this path it could be making a huge mistake.
Osborne should have moved at least a few steps towards a simple tax code with fewer types of taxes, fewer rates, and fewer exceptions. The economic efficiency improvements could then be recycled into tax cuts across the board.
The public seem less convinced by the failed politics and failed economics of the past than ever. What people do want to see is a credible alternative to austerity that holds out hope for the future and removes fear and insecurity from people's lives.... As opinion polls show clearly, the British people don't believe in George Osborne's 'long-term economic plan'. And nor, it seems, does he.
In today's autumn statement, the Chancellor George Osborne has cleverly used a mix of spin and deceit to hide the biggest, unaddressed issues in the British economy: the national debt and deficit... Only Ukip, it seems, is being truthful and honest with the British people on the realities that we face on our budget deficit and national debt in an ever competitive world.
An advisory group to the United Nations is calling for a revolution. It won't be taking people to the streets, ousting governments or causing bloodshed, but it will overhaul the data driving governments' decisions.
Once the Autumn Statement is out later this week, the momentum towards the upcoming General Election in the UK will be gathering pace. So far, the political and media discourse around the election has been marked by a certain amount of uncertainty and negativity about the future social and economic situation in the UK...
In short, we hear what journalists and politicians think the issues are and and how it affects Londoners - but we don't hear enough from Londoners themselves. And it is only by having an inclusive debate with all parties allowed a voice, that we will together take the tough decisions needed to tackle the London housing crisis.
Last time, I discussed the need for the NHS to differentiate between 'treatment' and 'care'. In the last week, three stories have emerged to support this view
Yesterday something big happened in Parliament. Not many people will have noticed it, and not many words have been spoken or written on it either.
TTIP is a big issue for politicians, business, unions and the rest of society. The secrecy which pervades the negotiations has kept it out of public debate for too long... That's why the TUC's Congress this September called for the negotiations to be halted. A good deal could be done, but not by starting from here.
Excitement really has started to kick on apprenticeships lately and it's starting to look encouraging - we might even get it onto the election agenda as a policy!
Whatever happened to Help to Buy? Ministers seldom mention the government's two-part mortgage guarantee and equity loan scheme these days, yet it was initially heralded by the chancellor and the prime minister as a major Coalition policy... The reason is that the scheme has fallen rather flat.
This is the statement George Osborne would not want you to see because it makes clear that subsidies, allowances and reliefs extend right across the UK economy. And they do not, by any means, appear to go to those who necessarily need them most. The view he has presented on this issue has been partial, to say the least, and frankly deeply misleading at best.
NHS workers in England - including those at the top of the pay band- will be on the same rate of pay in April 2016 as they were on in April 2013... As unions, we have deliberately tried to take action that would minimise the impact on patients by only having a four- hour stoppage. Yet the underlying message we are getting from the Government's refusal to negotiate a settlement is that when, and until, it impacts on patients they won't take it seriously. So where does this leave us? Do they want us to escalate the action and cause real harm or will they talk to us about a reasonable settlement?
What is sure is that all the best plans start with a clear vision. If our prospectus achieves nothing else, then we hope that inspires others to pursue ideas that will define a new generation. We cannot go back in time to correct historical under-investment, but we can make plans for a future where once again the North will flourish.