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 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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The four-year deep freeze

Stephen Timms MP  |  15 April 2016

Last week, with no fanfare, the government’s four-year freeze on benefits began. It was the week in which the tax credit cuts would have kicked in, if parliament had allowed George Osborne to go ahead. But other cuts, like the new freeze, have gone ahead. The reduction in universal credit equivalent to the tax credit …

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The March megashambles

Seema Malhotra MP  |  31 March 2016

We need prosperity that is fairly shared You might have thought George Osborne would have learned a lesson from his 2012 omnishambles budget. Not a bit of it. He surpassed himself with a megashambles. No budget has unravelled as quickly and as comprehensively as this one did. Within a couple of days its main revenue-raising …

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No gestures

Lib Peck  |  4 February 2016

Illegal budgets would set Labour back Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely right to discourage illegal budget-setting at the end of last year, shortly after local activists had called on councils to do just that. Here in Lambeth we have come a long way since the 1980s and the then Labour council’s decision to set an illegal budget. Since …

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Cameron’s council cuts hypocrisy

Lib Peck  |  19 November 2015

As the leader of a council that has seen its budget cut by 56 per cent since 2010, it was astonishing to see the prime minister criticising his own Conservative council in Oxfordshire for making cuts to services. David Cameron genuinely seems to believe his own propaganda that it is possible to deliver an unprecedented …

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Leaked letter opens the floodgates

Richard Angell  |  13 November 2015

David Cameron has made a pig’s ear of it again. A leaked letter that he is pressuring his local council to resist the worst implications of George Osborne’s cuts is either confirmation that Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-austerity politics is catching on or that the prime minister has no idea what the implications of his own policies …

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The Osborne deficit

Alison McGovern MP  |  12 November 2015

When George Osborne stands up for the autumn statement on 25 November, remember this figure: £60bn. Why? Because that is his deficit. Not the budget gap caused by the global financial crisis. Not the deficit he says he inherited. That is the Osborne deficit. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, it is the gap …

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The problem with Jeremy …

Maeve McCormack  |  16 October 2015

The problem with Jeremy is that he is basically alienating people who should be the party’s natural constituents through poor decision-making and ill-thought-through policy. No, not that Jeremy – I’m talking about the health secretary, who in a matter of weeks has somehow managed to convince doctors to go on protest marches and threaten strike …

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It’s tax credits, stupid

John Mann MP  |  14 October 2015

Labour needs to defend low-income families The chancellor made a great play in his July budget of announcing the introduction of a new national living wage which, by April 2020, will be over £9 an hour. He claimed this would help working families earn more. However, what he did not say then, and still has …

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