Tag Archives: frank field

The Independent View: Slashing early years spending contradicts the desire to improve social mobility

In its Social Mobility strategy launched last April, the government made clear the dual priorities shaping its agenda:

“Tackling the financial deficit is the Coalition’s most immediate task. But tackling the opportunity deficit – creating an open, socially mobile society – is our guiding purpose.”

These are strong words indeed, marking an unequivocal commitment to improving the life chances of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. At a very minimum, they indicate a clear intention to manage the necessary public spending cuts in a way that recognises this laudable goal.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

“Nick Clegg to vote against abortion counselling law”

So reports The Guardian:

Nick Clegg is on Wednesday planning to vote against a cross-party amendment, tabled by socially conservative MPs, that would strip abortion providers of their counselling role.

In the most high-profile parliamentary debate on abortion since the general election, the deputy prime minister will lead a series of Liberal Democrat and Tory ministers into the no lobby. They will be joined by most Labour MPs in voting against the amendment tabled by Nadine Dorries, a Tory backbencher, and Frank Field, Labour’s former welfare reform minister…

A rival amendment, tabled by the Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, has also been accepted

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Frank Field echoes Nick Clegg’s approach to tackling poverty

Labour MP Frank Field’s Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances, commissioned by the government and published last week has added to the debate over whether efforts should focus on increasing social mobility:

He proposes that the government switches focus from Labour’s anti-poverty measure, based on material income, to a set of life chance indicators.

He writes: “Poverty is a much more subtle enemy than purely lack of money,” adding that he does not believe poverty is the dominant reason why disadvantage is handed down from one generation to another.

Parenting is more important than income or schooling to a child’s life

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What the papers say…

Tories claim Labour is using taxpayers’ money to fund election advertising campaign – Telegraph, 15.1.10

“The Conservatives accused Labour of “raiding” taxpayers’ money to fund their election campaign. New figures uncovered by the Conservatives show that spending on advertising has increased to £232 million, which is a 39 per cent increase on the previous year.”

A tenth of schools fail to meet GCSE targets – The Guardian, 14.1.10

“One in 10 secondary schools in England failed to meet basic targets for GCSEs last summer and academies were disproportionately represented among the failing institutions, government statistics published today reveal.

“David Laws, the Liberal Democrats’ education …

Posted in General Election and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 8 July 2009

2 Big Stories


Labour backbench revolt over abolition of 10p tax rate is defeated

Big shock this one, I know… Labour MPs realise too late that their party’s tax changes are hitting the poorest hard in the pocket, threaten to mount a rebellion, and then – as per bloody usual – are bought off by the whips with a mixture of coercion and cheap promises. We’ve seen this story played out so many times before. Here’s The Times account:

Gordon Brown saw his Government’s majority cut to 43 in its defeat of an amendment to the Finance Bill that many thought would

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Four confirmed candidates for Speaker so far

News from the Hansard Society via email:

The Hansard Society will be holding a hustings meeting for potential candidates for the role of Speaker of the House of Commons. Potential candidates will have the opportunity to make a statement and answer questions both from MPs and those submitted by members of the public via the Hansard Society website.

We have invited potential candidates for the position of Speaker to participate. Since the position will still be fluid then, it is not our aim to be exclusive.  Confirmed participants in the Hansard Society Speaker Hustings thus far include:

  • Alan Beith MP
  • John

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments

Vince and Field join forces to urge Labour and Tories to tackle UK borrowing

Cross-party alliances are the flavour of the day. Today, David Cameron backed Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s successful campaign to overturn Labour’s shameful treatment of the Gurkhas. Meanwhile Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable has won the support of senior Labour backbencher Frank Field by tabling an early day motion highlighting the UK’s huge borrowing requirements, and calling on the Government to set up a special committee to investigate ways of balancing the national accounts.

Frank Field explains his reasoning in a stark article on his own blog, laying into both his own Government, as well as the Tories, for signally failing to address the UK’s crippling national debt burden:

Vince Cable and I have tabled today an Early Day Motion calling for a serious debate now, and not after the next election, on how to balance the nation’s accounts.

Both major parties are stringing the voters along, teasingly suggesting that big cuts in expenditure and tax hikes will be necessary, but neither has any intention of disclosing their plans to rational debate before the election. What both major parties overlook is that the money markets may not be compliant in a game of party politicking over the country’s future.

Even on the Government’s own figures, Britain will proportionally be trying to borrow more money to balance its accounts over the medium to long term than any other G8 country. …

The size of the State or – what Governments can do – is going to change. If we don’t have an open and full debate the new politics will quickly take on a reactionary bent. The new politics offers a once in a generation opportunity for radical politics. The first concern in increasing taxation is to ensure that those on modest to low incomes do not bear once again the main brunt of tax rises. …

The stranglehold on this debate by the two main political parties must be broken. Failure to convince the money-lenders than the country is serious about balancing its books could lead to a failure to raise the shedloads of debt any government must raise in the short run, resulting in a further collapse in the currency (already down by 30%) and untold economic chaos and misery.

If the two major parties fail to act, the House of Commons must seize the initiative to begin plotting a new safe course for the country.

Here’s the full text of Vince’s motion:

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 1 Comment



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMartin Gentles 19th Apr - 10:50pm
    Certainly RE should be included in a civic minded curriculum. The question isn't religious education, the question religious selection in education. This can inculcate social...
  • User AvatarRadical Liberal 19th Apr - 10:01pm
    'Indeed. So do we really need another one in a position of power and influence?' Don't you believe in balance and a diversity of views?...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 19th Apr - 10:01pm
    Just to point out that it is not £3,600 NET, it is £3,600 GROSS. In other words, £2,880 NET. It's available for everyone, including children.
  • User AvatarAmalric 19th Apr - 9:42pm
    Sir Archibald Sinclair in the first clip said, “Freedom is what it (Liberal Party) fights for. Our goal is a new Britain … - well...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 19th Apr - 8:41pm
    As far as I know the £3,600 rule is still in effect. I've checked HMRC, but I've made a mistake in the past by assuming...
  • User AvatarStephen Howse 19th Apr - 8:12pm
    Indeed. So do we really need another one in a position of power and influence?