Screaming headlines in the tabloid press - shamefully parroted by much of the rest of our media and compounded by unrepresentative and degrading TV programmes like Benefits Street - are solely designed to smear our welfare state and the people who rely on it.
I'm trying really hard to remember a time when we could go a whole week without having to have a national moan about "Europe"*. I mean I get it, I really do. All that great food, fantastic culture and nice weather. Not to mention Germany and France's positively infuriating collective predilection for paying people properly and according them proper employment rights.
Should we be preparing for a Lib-Lab Coalition in 2015? Possibly. Given their current problems and the added strain of preparing an election campaign whilst being tied into an unhappy government, the idea that the Lib Dems could work with the Tories again seems unlikely.
George Osborne has announced the Conservative Party would cut housing benefit for under-25s after the next election as part of £25billion spending cuts, removing a vital lifeline for many homeless young people who are already struggling financially. Such a move would be catastrophic for the 6,000 homeless young people Centrepoint supports each year.
If you think the National debate about the debt crisis has been vitriolic, then just wait until we reach the population tipping point. It will make the brouhaha surrounding George Osborne's strategy look like a quarrel at a kids party. But, if we really care about our legacy for the next generation, it's a debate that needs to happen.
The dawn of a New Year is a looking forward to what is to come and for reflection, a time for taking stock. There are two things we know will happen during 2014...
Much like the IT errors that transformed Barack Obama's revolutionary dream of affordable healthcare for all Americans into a conservative pundit's wet dream, Iain Duncan Smith's universal credit system has been dogged by design flaws from day one.
It was fitting on the day that Channel 4's documentary Benefits Street aired its first episode, Chancellor George Osborne announced a further round of £25 billion worth of spending cuts. Coming mostly from the welfare budget, Osborne said 2014 would be the year of 'hard truths.'
So I'd like to introduce Mr Osborne to few people: Shaun Pilkington shot himself after his Employment and Support Allowance was stopped. Tim Salter ...
Either it's an election year, or Nick Clegg has suddenly discovered some principles. This week, George Osborne announced that there would be another £25 billion in spending cuts after the 2015 general election and around half of that would come from the welfare budget. For Clegg, who must have been given a spine at Christmas, it was apparently the straw that broke the camel's back.
The UK House of Lords EU Subcommittee on Economic and Financial Affairs this week came out railing against the financial transaction tax (FTT), which would place a 0.1% tax on trades in shares and a 0.01% tax on derivatives trades. George Osborne described it as "economic suicide". He is wrong. Not adopting an FTT would be economic suicide.
In last week's autumn statement, Chancellor George Osborne was able to showboat the supposed successes of his austerity-driven financial agenda and renew his increasingly unlikely commitment towards balancing Britain's topsy-turvy budget. Yet while he's busy fritting away government assets and liabilities at break-neck speed, Mr Osborne appears keen to ignore a major housing crisis looming just over the horizon. It won't be pretty.
Recent news that Britain is lagging behind its Asian counterparts in educational attainment is worrying for the UK as a whole and especially worrying for business.
George Osborne's announcement in the Autumn statement that the pension age will rise to 70 has prompted predictable populist opposition, which has bee...
In 130 pages of the Autumn Statement the Chancellor covered, as he was right to do, every major public sector programme: but there was one significant omission. A programme which now costs 8% of GDP - the National Health Service. Apart from the commitment to ring-fencing there was no single line in the whole report dedicated to the NHS.
The knives are out for the shadow chancellor. Again. But to call for him to be sacked on the basis of a single, bad Commons performance is absurd. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it is Ed Balls, not George Osborne, who has been vindicated on the economy.