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...
Today, on International Day of Forests, think about the last time you had a walk in a forest. You probably enjoyed its beauty and calmness, the pictur...
After a litany of failure, it's now time that Osborne recognised the damage and pain these cuts will cause and end his targeting of disabled people. This is the right thing to do not just for disabled people - but for all of us who believe in a fair, decent and caring country.
Sometimes it's the people with whom we work most closely that end up knowing us the best. So it has proved with George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith. That's why IDS's observation in his resignation letter to the Prime Minister was so revealing. In it, he said: "I am unable to watch passively whilst certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self-imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest". For once IDS has hit the nail on the head. George Osborne is a man who always puts his career before his country. The nation's economic interest is not his primary concern.
Encouraging more saving is a worthy objective that public policy should be looking to achieve, and this kind of measure will help younger people save for both of these events. However, like other recent initiatives, such as Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantees, or Starter Homes, they provide an attractive product for consumers now, but may prove much less helpful in the long-run.
The unfortunate truth about the Budget is that it was a bit like a sugary drink: fizzy and largely sweet. But it will not be the last word on how well we do this year; and the omens are not looking good for Budget 2017.
The strong opposition that Labour is providing to Tory austerity - and the credible, coherent alternative that puts investment in our future at its core - makes this, and victory in 2020, possible. Then, if we create a better, balanced economy, our children and grandchildren can grow up in a world where things get better.
Behind all the sugary headlines the news is grim. After six years of the Tories, our economy is far weaker than they claimed, public services will be cut some more, inequality is getting worse. And once again women are being harder hit. George Osborne's plan is failing to meet his own targets, failing to deliver for Britain and he's making women pay the price.
Eighteen times Mr Osborne claimed to be speaking up for "the next generation". But I cannot count the number of times I have heard from young people about the harmful effects they are suffering from this Government's policies.
This Budget was a test for George Osborne, a test to see whether he can deliver a budget that is fair and one that helps us build for the future. It's a test he has failed. Growth is down. Exports are down. Productivity is down. And wage growth and disposable income are down. The only things rising? Debt and the deficit. These are failures that don't deliver on fairness, and don't deliver for the future... This is Osborne's eighth Budget - and his record of failure is there for all to see. The tragedy is that it is ordinary British families who are paying the price of that failure.
The truth is that young people have been little more than rhetorical window dressing for Osborne's budget. There was nothing on Wednesday that will make the tangible improvements to their life chances that they need. They still look set to be the first generation to have worse living standards than their parents.
This is just fiddling the figures. It's not economics, it's pure politics. The truth is that this is a hit and hope-for-the-best budget. He has knocked all of the tough decisions into the thickest long grass he can find, and has crossed his fingers that something will happen in the next few years to rescue him. It is a huge roll of the dice that undermines all of his empty words on security and responsibility.