Morning Report: Welfare and indiscipline

January 8, 2013 8:41 am

Today’s the day that George Osborne has been waiting for sinc the Autumn Statement. He gets to cut the benefits of the unemployed (and 7 million working people, and statutory maternity pay) and he gets to attack Labour at the same time. George will enjoy that. He’s even made a poster for the occasion. It’s almost like this vote is more about hurting Labour than reducing the deficit or dealing with Britain’s spiralling welfare bill…

Yet the indiscipline of the coalition is threatening George’s big day. As if having a cabinet resignation on the day of the big relaunch wasn’t bad enough (before replacing him with a man who tried to resign), Clegg then followed that up with criticism of the deserving/undeserving poor rhetoric. Perfect timing ahead of the big vote.

Speaking of the vote – Labour confirmed last night that (as expected) they’re opposing the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, and will attempt to force through an amendment that introduces a compulsory job scheme. It won’t work of course – the parliamentary numbers aren’t there – but it’s an interesting statement of intent nonetheless.

The Welfare Bill vote is likely to dominate today, but there are some other interesting stories bubbling under, including disgruntled Army Chiefs unhappy over cuts and the British Camber of Commerce predicting “weak growth” in 2013. Perhaps the most interesting other story for Labour people though is the news that Rochdale council are planning on getting around the Eric Pickles “council tax referendum” by using a loophole in the Localism Bill. Presumably it’s the loophole that allows for some actual localism…

Latest

  • Featured Miliband calls for “overarching inquiry into child abuse” – and repeats call for Shaun Wright to step down

    Miliband calls for “overarching inquiry into child abuse” – and repeats call for Shaun Wright to step down

    Ed Miliband has released a statement this morning on the Rotherham child abuse scandal, in which he re-iterates calls for Shaun Wright to resign as South Yorkshire PCC. However, Miliband has gone further today, calling for an “overarching inquiry into child abuse” to examine what went wrong not just in Rotherham, but “in different institutions, in different parts of the country and stretching across different decades”. Here’s the statement in full: This week’s report into the child abuse scandal in […]

    Read more →
  • Comment If a young person’s opinion falls into the political sphere, does it make a sound?

    If a young person’s opinion falls into the political sphere, does it make a sound?

    There’s a lot of talk around the Party at the moment about ‘Generation Y.’ I suppose I fit into that category, although I don’t think I’ve ever used it to describe myself. Gen Y or whatever, what’s become clear to me over the years is that I’m one of the weirder ones. I’ve worked since the age of 16, doing jobs from working behind a pharmacy counter to fundraising in a call centre to translating for a construction company. I’ve […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Why rural areas need free buses

    Why rural areas need free buses

    To have a fully functioning society, bus services in rural areas should be free of charge. For young people seeking employment, education or entertainment, the unwell needing to visit and be visited in hospitals or the elderly wanting to break the loneliness of isolation, public transport is essential. If governments don’t want to spend money on services in rural areas, they should at least provide the means for people who live there to get to them in urban areas. Regular […]

    Read more →
  • News Austin Mitchell rubbishes claims that Labour MPs could join UKIP

    Austin Mitchell rubbishes claims that Labour MPs could join UKIP

    The idea that any Labour MPs could follow Douglas Carswell’s lead by joining UKIP is merely “wishful thinking” on their part, according to a prominent Eurosceptic Labour MP. Yesterday, Nigel Farage claimed that he has “spoken to many” Labour MPs this year who “support everything UKIP is trying to do”, while a UKIP source today told the BBC that as many as ten “deeply unhappy” Labour MPs who are “fed up with being patronised by the Labour glitterati” and would […]

    Read more →
  • Featured David Cameron only has himself to blame for his problems with UKIP

    David Cameron only has himself to blame for his problems with UKIP

    This week’s defection by Douglas Carswell to UKIP was a hammer blow for the Prime Minister’s authority.  David Cameron and the Tories are running scared of UKIP and are more divided than ever before. With Stuart Wheeler, the former Tory donor and now UKIP treasurer, declaring that at least two more MPs are “seriously considering” defecting, we know that the introspection and turmoil is set to continue. As the Tories’ identity crisis deepens, it becomes clearer and clearer that they cannot provide […]

    Read more →