These two men blew a golden opportunity to tackle welfare dependency.  (Photo by Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

New Labour’s greatest failure

16 April 2014 18:58

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

Rochdale Foodbank Use Triples In A Year

Foodbank statistics present problems for the coalition – and for Labour

16 April 2014 11:47

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


Would ending unpopular benefits test contract really solve the problem?

22 February 2014 8:30

What will happen to the much-maligned contractor that carries out the government’s work capability assessments which determine whether a sick or disabled person is fit for work or needs long-term… Continue reading

Vincent Nichols Holds A Press Conference Ahead Of This Weekends Consistory

Why bishops are useful for the Left – for now

19 February 2014 15:22

Even though, as I said earlier, it makes sense for David Cameron to come out fighting in favour of his party’s welfare reforms after they were slammed by the Archbishop… Continue reading

White Dee with her daugher Caitlin

My experience of last night’s Benefits Street debate

18 February 2014 14:59

I spent yesterday evening in Birmingham with the residents of ‘Benefits Street’, assorted pundits and politicians. It was a slightly rowdy debate for Channel 4, and can be seen here. Since… Continue reading

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Explaining the IDS vs Osborne split on welfare

24 January 2014 11:29

‘Do you know what they used to call us?’ asked Theresa May ten years ago. ‘The nasty party.’ No one used that phrase, but ‘they’ had a point. The Conservatives… Continue reading

Rochdale Foodbank Use Triples In A Year

The Tories’ hunger games

16 January 2014 11:59

Last night I went to hear Chris Mould of the Trussell Trust speak at my local church. The scene appeared to confirm every myth Tories tell about themselves. Though it… Continue reading


Demonising? Episode 2 of ‘Benefits Street’ flatters a very ugly picture

13 January 2014 21:36

The Synthetic Outrage Squad has been out in force over Channel 4’s Benefits Street, dubbing the series ‘poverty porn’ that ‘demonises’ a vulnerable group of people. In fact, as someone… Continue reading

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George Osborne’s New Year speech on the economy

6 January 2014 11:59

Earlier today the Chancellor gave a speech on the economy where he set up a choice for politicians: cut back on welfare, or hurt ‘hard working families’ with tax rises… Continue reading

There are better ways for the state to save money than by making large families the preserve of the well-to-do.

Cap child benefit? There are better ways to cut the welfare bill

16 December 2013 14:38

David Davis is plainly right that the Tories are just testing the water to see how talk about capping child benefit to two children for people on the dole goes… Continue reading

(Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty)

The government must prevent young people from falling into the benefits trap

20 November 2013 16:24

Despite promises to be ‘tougher than the Tories’ with regards the welfare bill, shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves MP was today batting away headlines suggesting that Labour was considering plans to… Continue reading

A woman cleans the stage ahead of David Cameron's speech yesterday. Picture: Getty

The ravelling and unravelling of the only policy in David Cameron’s speech

3 October 2013 17:37

David Cameron’s speech to Tory conference yesterday was supposed to be policy-free so that the media would pick up his list of achievements because it had no other choice. The… Continue reading

Latest Figures Show UK Unemployment Has Risen Above 2 Million

Tories shift their plans on benefits for under-25s

2 October 2013 14:33

Although David Cameron’s speech was deliberately light on policy, it did contain one hint about a manifesto commitment for the 2015 general election. The Prime Minister told the conference that… Continue reading

A striking public sector worker marches

Time’s up for today’s welfare state

12 September 2013 17:21

Welfare as we know it is doomed to defeat. It looks like going down to defeat from three major challenges, and each challenge comes from the sea change that is… Continue reading

King Rib supper, single smoked sausage, pickled onions, saltnsauce. My supper yesterday, actually.

George Orwell’s lesson for Jamie Oliver

27 August 2013 17:08

Jamie Oliver, eh, what a card? Why can’t Britain’s revolting poor eat better food? If they can afford televisions they can afford mussels and rocket too, don’t ya know? Something… Continue reading

Unemployment Figures Set To Rise Further In UK

Welfare failures that are costing us dear

21 August 2013 21:20

I’m told there’s a joke that does the round in Whitehall, that to err is human, but if you really want to foul things up you need Iain Duncan Smith.… Continue reading

Social housing has lost all sense of society and relationships.

Social housing needs to be more social

12 August 2013 12:53

With the recent anniversary of the Beveridge report, TV channels have been packed with an array of documentaries on our welfare system. Most of these have been fairly hopeless, trying to make… Continue reading

Protesters gather at Trafalgar Square for a pro-immigration and rights rally earlier this year

Mass immigration or the welfare state? Because we may not be able to have both

2 August 2013 10:17

Formulating policy on the back of what you believe human beings ought to be like rather than what they tend to be like can have serious consequences. Mass immigration is… Continue reading

A woman with an umbrella depicting the l

David Goodhart tells David Cameron how to tackle immigration by reforming the EU

31 July 2013 9:41

Much, if not all, of the discussion about immigration in recent days has barely mentioned migration from the European Union, which, given the scale of such migration, was an oversight.… Continue reading

British Sectary of State for Work and Pe

Why Universal Credit delay is a good thing, not a political failure

11 July 2013 17:06

‘Iain Duncan Smith must now ask himself if he is fit for purpose.’ That’s what Liam Byrne thinks of the Work and Pensions Secretary’s admission that the roll-out of Universal… Continue reading

The Chancellor George Osborne Prepares To Give His Budget To Parliament

George Osborne’s big idea

27 June 2013 11:04

What are the Ashes? This question was put to former England cricket captain Ted Dexter, the guest of honour at the launch last night of the writer and broadcaster Simon Hughes’s… Continue reading

20% of all terrorist convictions in this country can be linked back to Anjem Choudary's al-Muhajiroun network. Picture: Getty

Jane Austen! Why can’t we have Anjem Choudary on the new ten pound note?

25 June 2013 17:18

I see that they have gone for Jane Austen as the face of the new ten pound note, after a long and bitter row. I find it incredible that they… Continue reading

Image: PA

Can you really give back your pensioner perks?

29 April 2013 16:30

This weekend, Iain Duncan Smith sparked a furore when a Sunday Telegraph interview quoted him as saying he would ‘encourage everybody who reads the Telegraph and doesn’t need [their winter… Continue reading

Speakers Address The Annual CBI Conference

Why don’t Labour talk about welfare reform?

5 April 2013 16:24

Philip Collins is shackled by the epithet ‘Tony Blair’s former speechwriter’; shackled because his columns prove him to be his own man. His latest (£) is a carefully argued critique… Continue reading

Candidates Enter Last week of Campaigning In Glasgow East By-Election

Welfare Reform is this government’s most difficult but most popular policy.

4 April 2013 9:00

I always enjoy Peter Oborne’s columns not least because his opinions are as entertaining, predictably unpredictable, quixotic and changeable as his cricket captaincy. This is not a bad thing. This… Continue reading