Tag Archives: george osborne

Laws on Osborne v Duncan Smith

David Laws CoalitionI wrote here recently on the claim by Iain Duncan Smith that he had been unhappy with the extent of cuts that George Osborne was demanding from the welfare budget.

Some light has been thrown on this by David Laws’ book Coalition, written before IDS’s resignation but published since.

Largely it seems to confirm Duncan Smith’s position. Not that he is a welfare dove by any means – for example when a complete welfare freeze for 2012 was proposed, while inflation was running at 5 per cent (p102)

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Avoiding the Tory disaster in Education


Last week, as a governor, I spent my morning at my local primary school completing an annual return and reviewing our budget for the next financial year (as an accountant, I get all the fun jobs). The atmosphere was a strange one. As a school that has successfully fought off an attempt at academy conversion, the staff were deeply upset about the grand announcement from George Osborne, that all schools will become academies by 2020. Meanwhile, our excellent Local Education Authority advisor was clearly and understandably out of sorts having just been made effectively redundant.

The policy being pushed forward by the government is going to be a disaster for primary schools, and everyone working in the sector knows this. Quite simply, the size of primary schools prevents them from having the necessary infrastructure to make an academy structure feasible. The destruction of the Local Education Authority support network will do irreparable damage to our capacity to support primary leaders in their incredibly varied roles.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 20 Comments

David Laws on Marr: I want to expose how NHS chief was leant on to encourage debate on NHS funding

It’s the second week of David Laws’ coalition revelations serialised in the Mail on Sunday. This week we have him telling us that:

To take them in turn:

You have to wonder why we bought and publicised the £8bn figure, too. It’s all very well for David Laws to tell Andrew Marr today that Norman Lamb was always sceptical about it, but I seem to recalls making a massive thing about how we were the only party who was going to meet the £8bn request in full. If we knew that the figure was nonsense then, why on earth did we not say loudly and lay out the choices that the nation faced in a much more realistic way?

On Marr, David Laws emphasised how the Lib Dems helped IDS veto Treasury requests for further welfare cuts, confirming that Osborne saw it as a cash cow.There are problems with this analysis, though.  Danny Alexander seemed to be hand in glove with Osborne on a lot of this stuff, at one point calling people affected by the Bedroom Tax “bedroom blockers.” Also, a lot of the really awful ideas, from the rape clause to the capping at two children were IDS’s idea.

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George Osborne’s decisions are coming back to haunt him

Commenting on George Osborne’s planned spending cuts, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Susan Kramer has said:

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Are we targeting the wrong deficit?


Keynes and his contemporaries did not share our present day casual attitude to the imbalances we see in international trade. The monthly, or quarterly, trade figures were a regular and prominent feature of our business news, at one time, but we have to look much harder to find those same figures now.

Keynes’s proposal that international trade be separated from domestic trade by the use of a separate international currency, the Bancor, formed part of the official British proposals at the 1944 Bretton Woods  conference  which set the international financial and monetary arrangements for the post war period. Unfortunately this was a step too far for the Americans at the time. The proposal, had it been adopted, would have penalised the surplus nations, making it less attractive for countries to run large export surpluses and would have encouraged the deficit nations to re-align their currencies to reduce their deficits.

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Vince Cable on “decaying” relationship with “bloody-minded” Osborne in government

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Your thoughts on Osborne’s Autumn Statement


Before George Osborne steps up to the dispatch box today we already know which Government departments will be protected from the cuts and which will have to take the brunt. The Tories have pledged to protect the NHS, education, defence, pensions and foreign aid, so that leaves vulnerable the police, local government (and just think of the huge number of services they provide), social care, further education (apparently not considered ‘real’ education), renewable energy and, of course, welfare.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarConor McGovern 26th Oct - 1:57am
    I think it's just got a lot tougher with the Tories not fielding a candidate, at least not in name.
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 26th Oct - 1:42am
    Some Bookies may have us as favourites, but without a big name candidate for the Lib Dems, Zac Goldsmith's majority and money will be too...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 26th Oct - 1:38am
    It's taken me a long time to go through all the arguments in this fascinating discussion, so apologies for writing so late. I agree with...
  • User AvatarPhilip Rolle 26th Oct - 12:34am
    You need someone experienced - perhaps one of those who were unseated in 2015. Ed Davey? Jo Swinson?
  • User AvatarMichael BG 26th Oct - 12:26am
    On my first reading of the RSA scheme, they have kept disability benefits out of it and suggested a way to ensure that the poorest...
  • User AvatarJoebourke 25th Oct - 11:21pm
    Excellent article Helen around an increasingly important issue. This policy needs to be dovetailed with a long overdue reform of the tax and national insurance...