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Archive for October 2011

Without a change in course, the wrong people will continue to bear the brunt of economic turmoil

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New poverty and unemployment figures released this week highlight the gravity of the crisis facing Britain.

On Tuesday the Institute for Fiscal Studies released a report showing that by 2013 median household incomes will fall by 7%, the sharpest drop for 35 years. These new figures hammer home the cold reality that we are merely at the beginning of this recession’s fallout, and it is already hitting ordinary working people harder than at any time since the 1970s.

The government’s inflexible response to the ongoing crisis has at best failed to bring about the necessary growth for recovery and at worst directly contributed towards the crisis of confidence at its heart. Public debt and the budget deficit won’t be brought down without an increase in tax receipts and a decrease in welfare payments. Yet, the government’s blind focus on austerity measures at the expense of growth means that unemployment – patently destructive on both fronts – is rapidly worsening. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Sam Boyd

October 12, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Politics

Heavy on ambition, light on policy – but this wasn’t the return of ‘Red Ed’

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Ed Miliband’s speech may have been closer to the hallowed centre ground than many think.

The scale of challenge Miliband set himself in his speech to the Labour Party conference on Tuesday – to “write a new chapter in our country’s history” by ditching a thirty-year economic consensus – is immense. You can’t fault his ambition. The Labour leader announced the “failure of a system, a way of doing things, an old set of rules.” He painted David Cameron as “the last gasp” of this defunct arrangement. “Only Cameron”, Miliband said in his most cutting line, “could believe that you make ordinary families work harder by making them poorer, and you make the rich work harder by making them richer.”

By contrast, Miliband declared himself “The guy who is determined to break the closed circles of Britain.” It was idealistic stuff. It was also daring; no mainstream political leader had hitherto confronted so openly the fundamentals of our thirty-year economic settlement, even when it collapsed three years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sam Boyd

October 2, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Posted in Politics