'Support for savers' was meant to be one of the key Budget themes. Until recently it seemed likely that the Chancellor would be announcing a radical shake-up of pension saving. But in the face of fierce of opposition from industry, the media and many backbench MPs, the Treasury has now ruled out any changes to pension tax relief in this Budget...
On Wednesday George Osborne will deliver his Budget speech in the Commons for the seventh year running. Over that time, the rhetoric that 'we are all in this together' has faded and evidence has mounted that women and those on low incomes have borne the brunt of austerity policies.
John McDonnell's proposed Fiscal Credibility rule is a break with Osborne's failing "fiscal mandate". Osborne misses every target he sets himself to shrink the deficit. He said he'd clear the deficit entirely by now, but he's £70billion wide of that. He can only meet his target for reducing debt by selling off government-owned assets. And you'd be hard pushed to find a single credible economist who would support Osborne's restrictions on government investment.
From the SNP benches, the real opposition, there will be an alternative. An alternative that prioritises investment, exports, productivity, innovation. That seeks to support our key industries like manufacturing and oil and gas. And that seeks to do manage the economy in the interests of all, and not the few.
Over the last few weeks, councils have been putting together budgets that struggle with yet another round of severe cuts designed in Downing Street. As ever, the Tories cling to the gross deception that councils can somehow cut two thirds out of their budgets without affecting frontline services.
Osborne will claim his Chancellorship a success next Wednesday but he has failed to meet the benchmarks against which he said we should judge him when he moved into No 11 Downing. And which group, above all else, has paid the price for his failure and are now being punished as Osborne seeks to retrieve something in time for the Tory leadership election? Our young people.
This morning Facebook UK announced - via the BBC's Kamal Ahmed - that it would start booking sales in the UK. So, welcome news. But (and you knew I was going to say this) let's not get carried away.
Being an optimist I do have hope and faith. I know that my job might be harder in Opposition to deliver on the pledges we have made, but I also know that it is more important than ever to make sure not only do we hold this government to account and expose it's continuous failures which effect places like Bradford West, but also that we make sure we win 2020.
Basic Income is a serious proposal necessary to address many of the economic problems facing the developed world. Let us start by defining what Basic ...
The government's plans would see prohibitions limiting large stores from opening on Sundays for more than six hours lifted in certain circumstances. The decision would be devolved to local leaders across England and Wales (Scotland and Ireland already have powers over Sunday trading devolved to their regional parliaments).
Obama came into the White House to the mantra of "Yes we can" and this weekend as he announced his final budget we can happily conclude that as far as climate change is concerned: "Yes he bloody well did!"
Osborne will also not gain a boost in popularity from amongst the Conservative Party membership by going down an anti EU line which Boris or Teresa might try to do. He has to stand on his record and achievements. He has misjudged the mood on the tax issue and it will haunt him.
Every summer, at the first hint of blue skies and sunshine, the beach in my constituency in Brighton fills up with people who have travelled from far and wide to enjoy the beautiful seaside. The scenes on those days are replicated across the country. We are people who, despite the inconsistent weather and chilly water - like to be beside the sea. It's easy to forget that bathing in British waters was a hazardous activity not so long ago and that it was action from the EU which cleaned up the coastline.
What is it exactly that John McDonnell is trying to achieve? Is he suggesting that Mr Osborne is in receipt on income that he is not declaring? One would certainly hope not and if he is he should be explicit about his allegations.
Following widespread condemnation of the 'sweetheart' deal agreed between Google and HMRC recently, George Osborne would have been hoping the week would end on a rather lighter note. Unfortunately, for him and his party, it seems the corporation tax scandal is one set to remain in the spotlight for the foreseeable future.
It must have sounded so simple in the meeting. £130 million. Big number. It'll look great on a headline, and show our commitment to paying tax in the UK. Let's get it out there. Give the BBC an exclusive and run it in the broadsheets as well.