George Osborne

Thin gruel for the ‘Jams’

Mike Katz  |  24 November 2016

Well, if that was his version of a dramatic flourish, it is probably just as well that Philip Hammond concluded his first autumn statement by promising to abolish them in future.   That the rescheduling of parliamentary budget statements was the gimmick of the day highlights the break in approach with this predecessor. ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ made …

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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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Hammond must face the future

Richard Angell  |  22 November 2016

Tomorrow is the autumn statement. It is the first economic intervention by the new chancellor since Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. But this is not the statement of a new government. This is the sixth year of this Tory government. What is unclear is if it is George Osborne’s apprentice or outrider that will …

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Three tests for the autumn statement

Stuart Hudson  |  21 November 2016

After the drama of the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump, there seems something almost mundane about turning our attention to the coming autumn statement. Normally a set-piece event in the parliamentary calendar would have dominated media coverage and political commentary for weeks in advance. There would have been speculation about the measures …

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A living wage for all workers

Marian Craig  |  14 November 2016

This year, mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the new London living wage will be £9.75 an hour (increasing to £10 an hour during his term in office) – for the rest of the United Kingdom the new rate will be £8.45 an hour. Currently, more than 3000 employers voluntarily pay this living wage – over …

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The constitutional talking shop

John McTernan  |  10 November 2016

What is it about Labour and the constitution?  After a series of electoral setbacks, there always comes the demand for constitutional reforms. The Labour party has suffered shattering defeats over the last six years – two general elections, two Scottish elections, the Brexit referendum and, most damaging of all, two elections of Jeremy Corbyn as leader. …

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Speaking Out: Lessons in Life and Politics

Roger Liddle  |  10 November 2016

Ed Balls’ Speaking Out will be regarded as one of best written and readable political autobiographies of his generation. It is not in the class of Denis Healey’s The Time of My Life, though there are some interesting parallels between Balls and Healey – serious intellectuals with brilliant minds, both bruisers in build and temperament, …

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The scandal of low-paid Britain

Siobhain McDonagh MP  |  8 November 2016

Low pay is a national scandal in the United Kingdom. Years ago, a typical family in poverty would be out of work. But now, they are far more likely to be in work – but on low pay. Last year, the Office for National Statistics revealed that almost a third of the UK population (around …

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Don’t accept this new, ‘new normal’

Adam Harrison  |  26 October 2016

Labour’s six-year slide damages not just the party but the country My first day working at Progress, Monday 4 January 2010, saw us catapulted into the general election campaign. Wasting no time in the early new year, David Cameron displayed his will to win by releasing the first part of the Conservative manifesto, which was …

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