work and welfare

It’s the assets, stupid

Kitty Ussher  |  9 April 2014

How Labour should respond to the budget’s pensions shake-up Labour and the Tories share a perverse incentive to talk down the economy just at the time that economic growth begins to soar. George Osborne and David Cameron, acutely aware that their strongest trait in the eyes of the public is the ability to take tough, …

1 Comment Read more

Beyond the Barriers

Sue Marsh  |  9 April 2014

Employment and support allowance. Work capability assessments. Atos. Few now doubt that these coalition welfare reforms have failed sick and disabled people spectacularly. Tragically, we knew that ESA was failing from the early pilots. But they were only affecting a few. The decision to roll it out nationwide to 1.9 million of the most vulnerable, …

1 Comment Read more

PIP: IDS needs to get a grip

Sheila Gilmore  |  18 March 2014

It is almost a textbook example of how not to do government. Today my colleagues and I on the work and pensions select committee have released a report on the performance of the Department for Work and Pensions, and the rollout of personal independence payment stood out for its incompetence. PIP replaces disability living allowance …

0 Comments Read more

Why does Benefits Street make us so angry?

Stephen Bush  |  28 January 2014

Why does Benefits Street make us so angry? Yes, it exploits people, but so do such Reithian delights as ‘My Daughter The Teenage Nudist’, ‘The Undateables’ or ‘Secrets of the Living Dolls’; exploiting people for public entertainment seems to be Channel 4’s raison d’etre. It most certainly demonises the working class, but no more so …

1 Comment Read more

A good start on welfare

Joe Goldberg  |  20 January 2014

A year ago, people were asking, ‘Where’s the beef?’ in Labour’s ‘One Nation’ policy agenda. While we’ve yet to be served up anything resembling a fillet steak there is certainly a sense of a some sort of protein-enriched amuse-bouche in Labour’s weekly policy announcements of late. This morning’s offering came from Rachel Reeves on the …

3 Comments Read more

The Twitterati’s digital censure

Adam Harrison  |  10 December 2013

It was an extraordinary leap by most standards, even for British journalism. The headline ‘Labour: We’ll scrap benefits for under 25s’ in the Daily Telegraph at the end of last month provoked a storm of online outrage and counter-outrage as the Twitterati crowded into the echo chamber to revel in mutual indignation and demand that …

0 Comments Read more

Memo on … social security

Paul Richards  |  18 November 2013

Welcome to the Department for Work and Pensions. Your new department spends more public money than we spend on the police, schools, hospitals, railways and international development combined. Nearly 20 per cent of government expenditure is spent on benefits, excluding pensions. If Ed Miliband’s new government is serious about predistributing wealth, not redistributing it via …

1 Comment Read more

The forgotten middle class

Alan Milburn  |  5 November 2013

Alan Milburn outlines an agenda to tackle the plight of the middle class and expand its numbers It is in Britain’s DNA that everyone should have a fair chance in life. Yet too often demography is destiny. Over decades we have become a wealthier society but we have struggled to become a fairer one. The …

2 Comments Read more

Survival skills

Jonathan Todd  |  5 November 2013

The middle class is changing. Labour’s vision of the state must change with it, writes Jonathan Todd As leader of the Labour party, Tony Blair was keener than his predecessors to align his party with the idea of aspiration. This was both a conviction that background should not limit anyone and a pitch for the …

0 Comments Read more

The voters: dissolve or educate?

Stephen Bush  |  15 October 2013

Would it not be easier, Bertolt Brecht once mused, to simply dissolve the people and elect another? German dramatists make unlikely political gurus, but Brecht’s fingerprints can be found all over Labour’s Next Majority, Marcus Roberts’ pathway to a parliamentary majority for Ed Miliband. Rather than win back the lost voters of 2010, who have …

0 Comments Read more