Cameron has played into the SNP’s hands

In creating a team to try and secure a Tory victory in 2015, David Cameron may have tipped the balance in the debate on Scotland’s future – and not in a good way

Scotland flag ncrjHas David Cameron just provided a shot in the arm of the Yes to Scottish independence campaign?

That’s certainly one way of looking at yesterday’s reshuffle.

As Tory women strolled up Downing Street in an effort to somehow gloss over this government’s abysmal record when it comes to women’s issues, the country now has a government and a cabinet that is more sceptical about the UK’s place in Europe. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Responses

Three reasons pay might be falling

Good unemployment figures but stagnant pay have been the story about each month’s jobs figures for a year now

George Osborne nc1jI had an unfair advantage, writing this post, because I knew pretty much what I was going to say – that the employment and unemployment figures were very good but that pay was going up by so much less than inflation that it overshadowed the employment figures.

I knew that because it has been the essence of the story about each month’s figures for a year now. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Responses

Unemployment falling, but many still left behind

The recovery is not dealing everyone an even hand

Job Centre ncrjToday’s labour market statistics show that the working age employment rate is now 73.1 per cent, the same level seen in the pre-recession peak of late 2004 and early 2005. The unemployment rate has fallen again to 6.5 per cent, its lowest level since the start of the recession in 2008.

But amid all this good news on the job front, we need to bear in mind that the recovery is not dealing everyone an even hand, and the government’s key back-to-work support programme needs fundamental reform if it is to have a genuinely transformative impact. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Responses

This government has been a disaster for disabled people

Under the coalition, disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as non disabled people

Disabled people ncrjThis weekend, members of my party will be meeting to shape the policy programme that Labour will take into government.

At the heart of those discussions will be a determination to deliver the vision of One Nation Britain that Ed Miliband has committed us to. Nowhere will that commitment matter more than in relation to our policies for the equality, inclusion and participation of disabled people. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , | 11 Responses

Unemployment down 121,000 to 2.12 million

Unemployment decreased by 121,000 in the three months to May 2014 to 2.12 million, with the unemployment rate now at 6.5 per cent, today’s labour market statistics reveal. Read More »

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The FCA cap on payday loans: acting where the market has failed

The proposed cap means that if someone pays back a £100 loan within 30 days they would pay a maximum of £24 in charges

WongajToday the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the regulator that takes care of the payday lending industry, has set out its proposals for a total cap on how much a payday loan will cost.

In short the price cap, which is up for consultation until September 1, 2014 (get sending those consultation documents) is composed of three components: a cap on the cost of how much a loan will cost at the initial point of sale, a cap on how much a lender can charge for default fees, and the maximum amount that a borrower will end up paying for a payday loan. Read More »

Posted in Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Responses

Gove may be gone, but his legacy is in safe hands

For a man who has had an online game dedicated to slapping him millions of times, it is something of an achievement that Michael Gove has lasted as long as he has.

Michael GovejDerided by teachers and the butt of jokes over his condemnation of strike action despite his union past (he was a member of the NUJ and took part in a strike), Gove it seems could not weather the final storm. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , | 5 Responses

The ‘modern-day Norman Tebbit’ is now a Treasury minister. Be afraid

Do we really want Norman Tebbit in the Treasury?

Priti PateljThe role of exchequer secretary is not a particularly powerful one – it’s actually  ranked below the chancellor, the chief secretary to the Treasury, the paymaster general and the financial secretary to the Treasury. This is probably why the Conservative MP for Witham, Priti Patel, has just been given the role.

Still, though, it’s a bit of a worry. I mean, do we really want someone who was once branded the ‘modern-day Norman Tebbit’ in the Treasury?

In case you didn’t know already, here’s what Ms Patel thinks about the world… Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , | 12 Responses

Do we really need a foreign secretary with an anti-gay rights record?

Does Britain actually want to project an anti-gay message on the world stage?

Philip Hammond ncrjLGBT rights are under severe threat in large parts of the world. In parts of Africa and the Middle East they are practically non-existent, with gay and lesbian people facing execution or life imprisonment in states like Uganda.

A resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin is also attempting to halt what it sees as the spread of American and Western “non-traditional values”. In a speech last December, Putin said that traditional family values were a bulwark against “so-called tolerance – genderless and infertile”. Read More »

Posted in Good Society | Tagged , , , , , | 23 Responses

New Welsh secretary a self-confessed ‘devo-sceptic’

New team, same old and tired views

David Cameron ncrjThere will be few tears shed in Cardiff this morning at the news that the secretary of state for Wales, David Jones, has been shuffled out of the UK government.

Upon taking office in 2012, Jones declared in no uncertain terms that he was extending the Wales Office’s “fullest cooperation” with the devolved administration in Cardiff Bay “in working to improve the lives of people in Wales”. Read More »

Posted in A Britain We All Call Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
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