The story of the government’s documents analysing the impact of Brexit on different sectors of our economy has truly been worth an episode of The Thick Of It. Or a whole series. For months, Brexit Secretary David Davis boasted that his department had compiled analyses of the impact of Brexit on 58 sectors of the economy. For months, MPs like me called on him to publish them, to be straight with the public about what Brexit will mean for their lives. For months, he refused.
Keir Starmer, the shadow cabinet member and former chief prosecutor, has called for mandatory funding for refuges amid criticism over a shake-up of funding for women’s services.
Abuse survivors and charities have warned the lives of vulnerable women and children will be put at risk by government plans to remove refuges and other forms of short-term supported housing from the welfare system.
Unless The Government Listens To Councils, Parents And Politicians More Vulnerable Children Will Go Without Care
Local authorities across the country are at breaking point, and now the strain is falling on children’s services as the devastating cost of austerity is beginning to take hold. These children deserve a life like the one that many of us took for granted, but yesterday’s budget offered nothing for vulnerable children and their families. In recent months, councillors from all parties have been warning about the growing crisis in support for vulnerable children. Yesterday’s Budget showed that the Government was not listening.
Yesterday's budget from the Tory Chancellor was massively disappointing. We needed creative solutions and rapid action to fix the growing problems in our economy but we didn’t get them. We needed an end to the Universal Credit chaos with the roll-out paused and the system fixed.
Food insecurity is a growing issue here in the UK and there is a serious concern that children are bearing the brunt. That is why I, along with colleagues from across the political spectrum and from all four nations of the UK, will come together today to address this issue by launching our All-Nation Children’s Future Food Inquiry.
How to end poverty in rich countries has been the subject of much hand-wringing over the years. When the Webb Memorial Trust kicked off our programme of work in this area in the aftermath of the biggest financial crash any of us could remember, it seemed that none of the familiar state-led solutions could be relied on. Meantime David Cameron had come to power proclaiming the role of the ‘Big Society’ in tackling intractable social problems.
Last week, while 22,000 people were tracking in slow motion every move of Priti Patel's return flight from Kenya to resign, I joined Rohingya refugees at the Kutupalong Camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to see the scale of the crisis first hand, hear directly from those affected, and understand the reality on the ground.
The Tories have told us that workers’ rights are safe as we leave the EU. However, as an ex-trade union official who had to fight the Tories over 30 years for stronger rights for workers, forgive me if I take these assurances with the largest of pinches of salt.
The housing crisis
A safe and secure home for all is both a basic right in a civilised society and a requirement of a productive economy.
The UK is currently failing to achieve this. We have a full-scale housing crisis. Housing has never been less affordable in a society where studying and saving for pensions is also costing more. Despite low interest rates, servicing enormous mortgages makes home ownership impossible for the majority of under 40s and home ownership has declined to the lowest level for 30 years. Meanwhile rents in the private sector are soaring while waiting lists for all forms of social housing amount to some 1.2 million.
What a state we’re in.
Ten years on from the financial crash, we’re mired in the worst squeeze on living standards since the days of Dickens. As in the 1930s and 1970s, this new malaise can only be lifted by forging a new economic settlement. That is what we must fashion on the foundation of Labour’s brilliant manifesto.