Labour doorstep campaign Fiona Mactaggart

Tackling migration myths

Atul Hatwal  |  10 April 2014

Getting tone and message right is essential for discussing immigration, advises Atul Hatwal That is the toughest subject for Labour on the doorstep? It is a fair bet you have just answered ‘immigration,’ the one topic where various Labour politicians have fallen over themselves to say ‘sorry.’ Yet if some have expressed regret for the scale of migration …

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George Osborne

Not tough on crime

Jacqui Smith  |  8 April 2013

George Osborne was despicable and wrong to link the case of the killing of the Philpott children to the benefits system. Many others have rightly condemned him for this. He was wrong in what he said – and he was wrong in what he failed to say. If he wanted to comment on the case, …

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The inconvenient truth about migration

Barbara Roche  |  2 April 2013

In the past few weeks each of the party leaders have said there needs to be a public debate on immigration. Well, we’ve got one, but it’s not been a balanced debate. The emphasis has been almost exclusively on costs with little discussion of the benefits. Where the positive aspects of migration have been raised, …

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Crowd at Liverpool Street Station

The truth about migrants and benefits

Kevin Peel  |  25 March 2013

Why let the facts get in the way of a good bit of immigrant-bashing? David Cameron certainly hasn’t. His speech today either highlights a woeful lack of knowledge of existing government policy or is deliberately misleading in order to whip up hysteria and community tensions. I’ll let you guess which. The National Institute of Economic …

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Frederick the Great

Services for the poor …

Stephen Bush  |  15 January 2013

If you try to hold everything, Frederick the Great once wrote, you hold nothing. That may well have been sage advice if you were a German princeling in the early modern era, but it’s a pretty terrible way to preserve the welfare state. Ed Miliband would almost certainly have done a pretty poor job as …

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Despatch box

Tax on strivers?

Simon Evans  |  12 December 2012

Today’s PMQs were lively as expected with the main focus being on the government’s proposed one per cent benefit cut, especially its effect on the working poor. The Tories were also gleeful about the numbers released this morning showing that unemployment figures were going down – but, as we know, that doesn’t tell the full …

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George Osborne

The Osborne trap

Jacqui Smith  |  10 December 2012

One of the most surprising things about George Osborne’s omnishambles budget statement was that it undermined his reputation as a canny – some might say devious – political operator. The autumn statement has gone some way to restoring this reputation. His proposal to cap benefit payment increases has set a potential trap for Labour. We …

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Care crunch

Paying for our future

Peter Kellner  |  2 July 2012

Emphasising the insurance principle is key to winning public support for tough choices on social care, says Peter Kellner Here is the dream: most of us want a system of social care that is generous to older people who need it, but does not cost the public purse so much that taxpayers resent the amount …

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David Cameron

A nod and a wink

David Talbot  |  25 June 2012

We are out of the euro, in the financial and footballing sense, and there was a certain inevitability about the latter. Away from the dreary scenes in Kiev last night, Westminster shifts back into gear this week where the battle for the United Kingdom will commence and the future of our welfare state is discussed, …

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Hazardous housing

Josephine Channer  |  3 August 2011

Now I’m a GLA candidate for Bexley and Bromley as well as a councillor in Barking and Dagenham, for me one of the most concerning issues is the effects that the government’s planned housing benefit cap and universal credit changes will have on outer London. The universal credit system changes are due to begin in …

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