Delivering stronger economic growth and sustained rises in living standards for all working people is the economic policy challenge for our generation. A new progressive policy agenda is needed to achieve this. And it won't come by either turning our backs on the world economy, or hoping that traditional right-of-centre economics - laissez-faire, trickle-down, deregulation - is going to turn the tide of stagnating wages and rising inequality. That's the conclusion of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity, which I have co-chaired with former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and reports today.
Labour's latest policy announcement, creation of a committee of English MPs to scrutinise bills only relating to England, highlights the party's panic over the Conservatives popular English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) proposals.
In the lead up to the 2015 elections we are looking at our leaders and wondering who will be best to take our nation forward. As we watch them, we don't simply analyse their words, we also want to get a feel for the people behind the scripts, to understand if they are able to put it all into action. So it seems worthwhile to analyse their actions and see what they can tell us...
From day one, George Osborne framed the debate on the economy as a debate about borrowing, debts and deficits. Unlike defensive Labour, however, the voters don't seem to buy it.
More is it at stake than immediate political positioning. The agendas adopted now will define the policy space for most of the next parliament... Perhaps the present consensus on the haste of deficit reduction is deserving of greater scrutiny than is currently afforded by much of the UK's political class.
The Tory Lie Machine is desperate to distract attention from the fact that they've raised taxes 24 times, and that tax and benefit changes since 2010 will leave the average household £974 a year worse off by the time of the next election - while giving millionaires a tax cut. But when they choose to lie about Labour's plans, we're going to call them out on it.
After a long Easter break that bordered on decadent, I'm back and newsing like never before, more eager to bust some chops than ever.
The real betrayal of Britain's poorest and most vulnerable people was Labour's support for this toxic policy. With 13 honourable exceptions who all deserve praise for actually doing what they were elected to do, Labour MPs acquiescently lined up behind the welfare cap. If an antelope feeds its calf to a lion, that's pretty shocking.
With a budget that achieves the exact opposite of the objectives the Chancellor has set himself we are all wondering what will come out of the Ministry of Truth next. A Localism Act that centralises planning perhaps; or a Big Society that cuts benefits for the poor and vulnerable?
Jobs will be lost because bosses have to pay a bit more tax? How does that work? They're going to shut down factories, lay off staff, because they have to pay a bit more income tax? I don't think so.Investors will tear up their business plans because they feel sorry for UK chief executives with fewer pounds in their pockets? Why on earth would they? It simply makes no sense.
Successful entrepreneurs who look to the UK as a business friendly place to locate and invest will see a tax rate far beyond that in countries like Russia, which has a flat tax rate of only 13% for everybody! Just like we're seeing with France, investors would leave the country and go elsewhere.
It is estimated Labour would get around £1billion annually, which in tax terms is peanuts. The National Health Service alone, for example, soaks up more than £100billion - and rising - despite 'efficiency savings'. So why do it? The answer is probably to provide electoral cover for more widespread tax rises if Labour wins the next election.
Ed Balls' speech over the weekend announcing that Labour will aim to run a surplus by the end of the next parliament raises significant questions about public service reform. No matter whether you viewed the pledge as necessary political positioning or not, to make it a reality the next Labour government will need to significantly reform the state, without more money to spend.
Raising the top rate of income tax isn't about envy, it's about justice. But it only goes so far. We also need to start talking about raising the minimum wage, clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion, and public ownership. Enough is enough. The rich have been taking the rest of us for a ride for far too long.
Pension relief is one of the most common (and government-sanctioned ways) to avoid tax. Limiting it (especially if other exemptions and loopholes were also altered) could lead to further knock on gains for the public purse as higher earners find fewer simple ways to avoid taxation at their disposal.
There are some key factors in building successful teams in politics, sport and business - and Ed Miliband might be stealing a march on David Cameron in one area...