Never has George Osborne's hypocritical catch-line "we are all in this together" sounded more hollow than with the news that 10% of the poorest areas, including my own borough of Hackney, have been hit by cuts that average over 25% of their local authority budget. Meanwhile some of the wealthiest areas have not just avoided the cuts, but have seen their grants rise under this government.
Mark Carney's important speech set out in some detail the logical steps that are required for a currency union such as the sterling zone to work. It works pretty well at the moment because we have a political union and fiscal and monetary policy work in tandem and banking regulation underpins the system. But would such a system work as well if Scotland were to be an independent country?
American author Mark Twain once said that there are "three types of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics". This nifty little phrase certainly comes to mind today, when you see that the Institute of Fiscal Studies have accused the government of using dodgy stats to support their claims that living standards are going up.
Last week, hundreds of thousands of Londoners and commuters in the rest of the South East battled strikes and main line signal failures to get to work. With considerable grit and determination many of them succeeded. It's fair to say that George Osborne's Christmas gift to restrict regulated fare rises is already no more than a distant memory...
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.
I believe that what the financial crisis has demonstrated most importantly is that unless we have the operation of finance under democratic control we cannot truly claim to live in a democracy: the objective of Green Party policy outlined in our new report Stepping Outside the Casino is to achieve this democratic control.
Even if the growth projections are true, this skirts over the fact that Britain is forecast to have a growing population at a time when other European nations (particularly Germany and Italy) are facing shrinkage. More people equals more money, the assumption goes. Demography is destiny, in other words, which is an adage best left to historians than journalists.
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 ...