From the TUC

BAE Systems: A TUC Response

30 Sep 2011, by in Economics

I have a piece on the Huffington Post website today, giving a TUC reaction to the BAE job losses from this Tuesday. Lessons must be learned. Lesson one: rapid public spending cuts will undermine any private sector recovery. Lesson two: we can’t hang on much longer without a meaningful strategy for economic growth. Try to…

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Industrial Policy: Unions Lead The Way

30 Sep 2011, by in Economics

I enjoyed Martin Kettle’s reflection on Ed Mililband’s Labour Conference speech in this morning’s Guardian. It covered lots of ground but, if you’ve followed my blogs before, you will guess that I want to pick up on Kettle’s comments about a role for industrial policy. Martin Kettle puts the case for “well argued and flexible new models…

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The threat to Disability Living Allowance

29 Sep 2011, by in Society & Welfare

The Welfare Reform Bill proposes replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payments No one could argue with the government’s stated aim of the Welfare Reform Bill: to make it easier for people to access financial support when they need it. However there are a great number of concerns about the unintended consequences of the…

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Sometimes I wonder why I bother …

29 Sep 2011, by in Society & Welfare

A new item on the Independent website sends me into a slough of despond. It’s a report that the European Commission has warned the UK government that the benefits rule that limits benefits to people with a “right to reside” in the UK  is probably contrary to EU law.  Let’s be clear, the “right to reside”…

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Housing Benefit reforms are based on mistaken beliefs

29 Sep 2011, by in Society & Welfare

Research into rents in London shows that an underlying assumption behind the government’s Housing Benefit reforms is mistaken. As we’ve noted over the past year, the availability of HB will be restricted and the amount of help tenants get will be reduced by the government’s proposals for Housing Benefit and cuts in support for local authorities. These…

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Predator capitalism v producer capitalism

29 Sep 2011, by in Economics

Ed Miliband is hardly the first to attack ‘predator capitalism‘. It was Edward Heath in 2003, who, pointing to the money baron, Tiny Rowland, first coined the phrase, ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’. In 2009, Lord Turner, chair of the Financial Services Authority described some of the activities of the City as ‘socially useless’. When…

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Reactions to the EU Robin Hood Tax proposal, and news from across the pond

28 Sep 2011, by in International

Reactions to the European Commission’s plans for a Robin Hood Tax have been coming in so I thought I’d list some here. First indications from the UK Government were predictably negative, although presumably George Osborne’s argument that ‘he can’t support an EU tax because it needs to be global’ means he will be voting to back Bill Gates when the issue…

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