The Tory ‘decade without growth’

Stephen Beer  |  24 March 2017

A stronger opposition would be well-placed to pressure the government on its faltering economic record, writes Stephen Beer We are reaping a poor economic harvest from decisions made by Conservative-led governments since 2010. This year’s budget will be remembered, if it is much remembered at all, for a totally unnecessary political storm about national insurance …

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A sober statement for sober times

Allen Simpson  |  23 November 2016

There is a well trodden formula to government finance announcements. The chancellor rumbles on about why the economy is heading in the right direction under his watch but doom would surely result if the feckless opposition were in charge. Then after the cleansing sorbet of one of those jokes only politicians find funny, they say …

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The chancellor’s reality deficit

Sally Keeble  |  23 November 2016

Philip Hammond’s autumn statement reinforced the position of Theresa May’s as a traditional Tory government – right eye on the business community, left eye on key voters, and everyone else falls through the gap in the middle. There were some welcome measures, especially investment to improve the broadband network and some limited benefit giveaways. There …

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Defeat for George Osborne

Rachel Reeves MP  |  2 July 2016

George Osborne is trying to clear the decks for the new Tory leader by getting the government’s mistakes out of the way now. Yesterday he signalled that his great mission of delivering an overall budget surplus by 2020 was to be consigned to history less than a year after he had first promised it. He failed to …

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The SNP is crippling Scotland’s services

Jimmy Gray  |  3 May 2016

This year, under threat from the Scottish National party government in Edinburgh, Highland council had to make savings totalling £39.856m to produce a balanced budget. All services will be affected to a greater or lesser extent from education through to burials. One of the cruelest has been an incredible 60 per cent increase in burial …

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Steady growth or a slowing economy?

Peter Hain  |  18 April 2016

Kitty Ussher has been looking at the UK economy through rose-tinted spectacles in her surprisingly over-optimistic assessment of Britain’s growth prospects under George Osborne. Ussher says that ‘the economy is in good shape’ and that the Office for Budget Responsibility ‘expects it to keep growing steadily’. In reality the UK economy is losing momentum, not cruising along comfortably. …

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‘We’re not holding back’

Ayesha Hazarika  |  5 March 2016

‘Anti-austerity politics is now the centre-ground of 
Scottish politics’, Kezia Dugdale tells Ayesha Hazarika Kezia Dugdale is on cracking form. The Scottish Labour leader meets me in central London after a strong performance on the Daily Politics and ahead of a fundraiser. She tells me she faces the same two questions on a loop: ‘Oh, …

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Look to Davos for partners for a new kind of growth

Stephen Kinnock MP  |  22 January 2016

I worked at the World Economic Forum in Geneva from January 2009 until 2012, and I will never forget the febrile mood of my first Davos in January 2009, just a few months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. I don’t mean the personal sense of ‘new kid on the block’ trepidation that I was experiencing, …

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Labour’s challenge is to propose a genuine alternative

Stephen Beer  |  25 November 2015

The autumn statement represents what happens if you adopt the wrong economic policy for the times we live in. For reasons of misguided economics or political priorities, probably both, the government has committed to more years of spending cuts. Meanwhile, though the economy is currently growing at a reasonable pace (+2.3 per cent over twelve …

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One lesson for Labour

Stephen Beer  |  10 July 2015

The first Conservative budget since 1996 illustrated one lesson for Labour: how important it is to establish and maintain economic credibility. The chancellor’s March budget, for the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, stated that annual borrowing would be eliminated by 2018-19, mainly through harsh spending cuts including a £12bn cut to welfare spending. The Conservative manifesto went …

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