coffee house

Coffee Houserss

Labour MPs push for an amendment to the welfare bill

16 July 2015 11:21
(Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty)

The Labour welfare rebellion advances further, with Helen Goodman tabling a ‘reasoned amendment’ to the Welfare Reform and Work Bill. She says she has the support of 40 Labour MPs… Continue reading


What should be done about welfare? Don’t ask the Shadow Cabinet

14 July 2015 17:17

The Shadow Cabinet has split all ways on what to do about welfare. Andy Burnham says he wants a reasoned amendment to the second reading of the welfare reform and… Continue reading


Harriet Harman: Labour will not do ‘blanket opposition’

12 July 2015 14:43
Harriet Harman Speaks On The Labour Party Future

Ever since Labour started having to respond to Tory policy announcements, there have been little fissures in the party over what sort of stance it should take on welfare. When… Continue reading


David Cameron makes the case for the Tories’ moral mission

22 June 2015 9:16
Demonstrator's signs are seen at an Anti Austerity demonstration at Bank Of England on June 20, 2015 in London, England.

David Cameron has never particularly warmed to the language of compassionate conservatism. In the past, that side of the conservatism has generally been represented by Iain Duncan Smith — with… Continue reading


Iain Duncan Smith to stay at Welfare

10 May 2015 22:06
Iain Duncan Smith must beware of ignoring warning signs about the implementation of the universal credit. Picture: Getty.

News has just broken that Iain Duncan Smith is to remain as Secretary for State for Work and Pensions. Now, normally a Cabinet Minister remaining in post would not be… Continue reading


Why has Rachel Reeves tried to blame the OBR for Ed Miliband’s job predictions?

5 May 2015 16:27
Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 17.01.14

Who is to blame for Ed Miliband getting the job projections so embarrassingly wrong? Famously, he used to go about advocating his ratio of doom: that there would be one private sector job lost… Continue reading


The Trussell Trust’s misleading figures on food bank usage help no one

22 April 2015 14:29

A day after the BBC admitted to misquoting David Cameron on foxhunting, the broadcaster made another admission of error last night over the numbers of people using food banks. A Newsnight package… Continue reading


Nick Clegg sets out red lines for coalition negotiations with Labour and the Tories

13 April 2015 20:59
Liberal Democrats Leader Nick Clegg Visits Scotland

Nick Clegg produced Lib Dem red lines for any coalition with either Labour or the Tories in an interview with Evan Davis this evening. Clegg said that he wouldn’t go… Continue reading


David Cameron: ‘This is a high stakes, high risk election’

28 March 2015 13:50

The Tories want to frame this election as a straight choice between David Cameron and Ed Miliband. So, today Cameron delivered some of his most direct attacks on Miliband yet.… Continue reading


Will Cameron’s new benefits policy ever take off?

18 February 2015 18:52
David Cameron Makes Key Welfare Speech In East Sussex

Will the Tories really dock benefits from obese people and those with drug or alcohol addictions if they refuse treatment? Even though David Cameron reaffirmed his commitment to the policy… Continue reading


Bold new Tory election strategy: Tax cuts for our chums; welfare cuts for you

17 February 2015 11:29

“There’s a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us… Continue reading


Lord Freud offers ‘full and unreserved apology’ for disability comments

15 October 2014 14:04
Work and Pensions Select Committee

Lord Freud has apologised for suggesting that disabled people were not ‘worth’ the minimum wage. He said: ‘I would like to offer a full and unreserved apology. I was foolish… Continue reading


Tory nerves over Osborne welfare gamble

30 September 2014 19:33
Image: Getty

Will George Osborne get away with his conference gamble that hits working families? The Chancellor’s speech would have received a far worse reception on the front pages of today’s newspapers… Continue reading


Government loses ‘bedroom tax’ vote

5 September 2014 14:02
Image: Getty

The government has just lost a vote in the House of Commons on the ‘bedroom tax’/removal of the spare-room subsidy/underoccupancy penalty/Size Criteria for People Renting in the Social Rented Sector… Continue reading


Osborne’s choice: important projects or welfare

5 August 2014 8:54
George Osborne

George Osborne can’t quite help himself. Today he’s continuing his Northern charm offensive, which has been impressively choreographed. He gave a speech back in June in which he said he… Continue reading


Scotching a myth: Scotland is not as left-wing as you think it is

21 May 2014 11:58
The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Thirteen

Alex Salmond and David Cameron have more in common than a shared appreciation for Andy Murray’s tennis. Not, of course, that you would ever persuade either of them to admit… Continue reading


New Labour’s greatest failure

16 April 2014 18:58
These two men blew a golden opportunity to tackle welfare dependency.  (Photo by Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

My friend and critic Jonathan Portes obviously took exception to my remarks about Keynesianism having been disproven. His entertaining rebuttal claims to have exposed my misreading of data. That’s not… Continue reading


Foodbank statistics present problems for the coalition – and for Labour

16 April 2014 11:47
Rochdale Foodbank Use Triples In A Year

Despite the stream of very good economic news (as described by Fraser and James), you won’t catch ministers saying that the crisis in living standards is ‘over’ because there is… Continue reading


The Conservatives’ moral mission: jobs, jobs, jobs

1 April 2014 10:56
Image: Getty

Remember Labour’s defining mission: ‘education, education, education’? Yesterday we had the Conservative equivalent ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’. In what some might see as an important day in the development of the… Continue reading


It’s time Labour talked about universal benefits

31 March 2014 10:54
Brian and Joan Caswell, who won a £24.9 Euromillions jackpot aged 74 and 72 respectively. Do they still need free bus passes? Image: Getty

For years the Nordic model has stood out as a beacon of universal welfare provision. But if you want evidence of how the global financial crisis has ripped up the… Continue reading


Will welfare cap vote be Miliband’s biggest rebellion?

25 March 2014 14:43
Miliband visits Trafalgar Place

So Rachel Reeves confirmed in the Commons today that Labour will back the welfare cap when it comes to a vote. Tory MPs cheered her as she announced this. There… Continue reading


How food banks were shunted around government departments

21 March 2014 14:34

It is well worth reading Paul Waugh’s interview with Iain Duncan Smith in the House Magazine for a number of reasons – not least his hint about docking child benefit… Continue reading


George Osborne’s Budget elephant trap is still open and waiting for Labour

20 March 2014 9:32
Image: Getty

Yesterday the Opposition didn’t really do all that much opposing. Labour announced it was going to vote in favour of George Osborne’s AME welfare cap, with Ed Balls arguing that… Continue reading


Welfare cap will change the way cuts are made

26 February 2014 11:56
Not as recalcitrant as he seems (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The Sun’s report that pensioner benefits will be included in the overall cap on welfare spending highlights an interesting shift that this policy will cause. George Osborne will set out… Continue reading


The Church should be employing its moral outrage to greater effect

19 February 2014 17:45

Part of the role of the Church is to give the poorest in society a voice. It should be front and centre of the public debate about welfare reform, but… Continue reading