What's driving these changes is the Conservative's social philosophy infused with ideals of individual responsibility and ending the 'evils of dependency'. It's social malevolence, not economic pragmatism. The same can be said of the environment. Environmental campaigners are calling for government action but taking action is anathema to Conservative ideology.
Cities can be seen as an environmental time bomb. They currently consume up to 80% of global material and energy supplies and produce around 75% of carbon emissions. With current energy intensive modes of urban development, the addition of 3 billion more city-dwellers by 2050 will mean we have no chance of limiting climate change.
Not only should we question what the Conservative vision of a hard-working society looks like in reality, we should also remember who is evangelising it and why. When it comes to work and family backgrounds the Coalition cabinet could not be more unrepresentative of the run-of-the-mill British family.
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.
So the saying goes "if you can't beat them, join them" and the latest raft of energy price hikes suggests now is the time for UK consumers to consider doing just that. We are a nation tired of being held to ransom by our energy bills - so has the time come to ditch our reliance on energy companies by becoming the bosses of our own energy supplies?
What's been missing in the public debate, and deserves particularly focus in this, Living Wage Week, is the failures of distribution of the wealth of our society that has seen millions left without the means of basic survival; that half a million people are, today, in the sixth-richest country in the world, dependent on food banks, should be considered a driver for major, immediate, change.
Climate change is still happening. There is more certainty than ever that human greenhouse emissions are the main driver of this change. Climate change is a huge threat to people, species, habitats and the places we care about. In a nutshell, that the risks posed by a changing climate are deeply concerning.