The 1st April sees an increase in the minimum wage, rebranded as the National Living Wage, to £7.20 for those over 25 years of age. But one group of workers - cycle couriers - will be denied this modest boost to their income.
Did the Chancellor invest in improving our children's prospects in yesterday's Budget? Kind of. He certainly invested. Over four years he is spending £640 million on turning all schools into academies and moving to a new funding formula, £690 million on longer school days, £490 million on school sports and £80 million to improve attainment in Northern schools. Sadly, the chances of this windfall actually improving education, especially for children from low income backgrounds, is uncertain at best.
We've got to get better at reaching all of these women and girls. At recognising the ways in which gender, trauma, poverty, race, and other forms of inequality combine together to trap them. We need systems and services to recognise when women are experiencing these multiple forms of disadvantage, and to provide safe, effective, trauma and gender informed support.
Our city should look to a cocktail of issues to address social inequality rather than resorting to just one, two or three because, as research and experience shows, the causes of poverty and deprivation are enormously complex. Bristol needs leadership that not only understands this but is prepared to see the necessary action through to craft a pathway to much greater equality of opportunity for all.
Official statistics show that 1.7million children live in families that can't afford to heat their home and 300,000 live in families that can't afford to buy them a warm winter coat. The House of Lords has told the Government that money matters to children's lives. The Government must listen and think again about its plans to remove the commitment to measure and report on the number of children living in poverty.
TOTM is a campaign we have set up which intends to raise donations of sanitary products, baby wipes and clean underwear for women facing homelessness in and around Manchester City Centre. Lack of access to sanitary products might only be a small part of the daily challenges that homeless women face but I don't think we can underestimate the value of allowing women to maintain their comfort and dignity.
Refugees are and should be welcome in the UK and other EU countries. They deserve better than this frankly appalling treatment. They're not trying to 'scrounge' from us. They're not just a 'bunch of migrants', like David Cameron said last week. They're people. It's time that they're given the help that they so desperately need.
From my experience, these billionaires will be well informed individuals who donate substantial sums to charity every year. I have nothing but admiration for what many of them have achieved, but goodness I would like to get them on a coach and take them on a magical mystery tour, sharing some of the sights I have witnessed in Africa.
There are strong feelings around the proposed changes to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for those who are in the Work Related Activity Group (those people found unable to work but able to take part in some activities that could move them closer to work). We strongly believe that rather than halving the employment gap it will push people further in to poverty and as such, further away from work. In fact a report recently published by Low Lord, Baroness Meacher and myself called 'Halving the Gap' found no evidence to suggest that reducing someone's ESA will provide the incentive that the Government believes it will.
The international response to what took place and what continues to take place is both a travesty and injustice. Hundreds of thousands of Innocent men, women and children fled to neighbouring countries such as Chad and Cameroon but more than 600,000 people remain displaced inside the country with many trapped inside enclaves they cannot escape.
What sort of system have we created that relentlessly siphons wealth from the poor to the richest 1%, and in the process deprives humanity of the resources that could bring happiness, contentment and joy to billions of people? When, oh when, will world leaders take concrete steps to remedy this injustice and unfairness?
As Christine Lagarde, mother, head of the IMF and star of the global stage arrives at Davos this week, Hannah Haciku mother, entrepreneur and village authority will be working hard to feed and clothe her three children in Kenya. Two women, two very different lives. Christine may face a glass ceiling, the one Hannah faces is more like a steel one.