Cost of living

The Labour Party Annual Conference

There’s supposed to be a ‘cost of living crisis’, Ed. Will free gym use solve it?

17 April 2014 13:03

There was much excitement on Tuesday night when Labour’s Pat McFadden, a former business and employment minister, appeared on Newsnight and said: ‘I want to see a Labour Party that… 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


Has anyone noticed Tory tanks rolling onto Labour’s lawn?

7 April 2014 8:40

It’s unfashionable to talk about the battle for the centre ground these days. The fight to win political credibility is conducted through a new prism. Populists versus the establishment, centralisers… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Time to switch energy companies say ministers

17 March 2014 17:07

Both coalition parties remain scarred by the political potency of Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices. They are determined to do what they can to stop this issue gaining… Continue reading

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Another Tory says there’s a ‘strong case’ for raising the minimum wage

8 January 2014 13:20

This lunchtime, Treasury minister Sajid Javid said there is a ‘strong case to look at’ raising the minimum wage, joining Matt Hancock as a Conservative minister prepared to say in… Continue reading

Some keen parkrun participants in Leeds. Picture: PA

Struggling with your New Year’s Resolution already? It’s all David Cameron’s fault.

2 January 2014 19:58

Ed Miliband did vow to ‘relentlessly’ focus on the cost of living crisis facing hardworking families up and down the country (hopefully someone will develop a shorthand outline for this… Continue reading


PMQs: Backbenchers eerily silent as bosses discuss their pay

11 December 2013 13:11

Ed Miliband started off with a soft question to which he already knew the answer at PMQs: ‘Does the PM agree with me that given the crisis ordinary families are… Continue reading

Balls. Image: Getty

Ed Balls is back on form, but that doesn’t give Labour economic credibility

10 December 2013 13:40

There were two key lessons from Treasury Questions today. The first is about Labour’s post-autumn statement line of attack. We already knew from Ed Balls’ briefing last Thursday that he… Continue reading

An Alternative View Of The Labour Party Annual Conference

Ed Balls: OBR forecasts show cost of living will continue to haunt Tories

5 December 2013 17:07

Ed Balls has not had a good day. He has just given his post-autumn statement briefing, at which he argued that Labour had set the agenda for this statement with… Continue reading

Meet Thy Doom

Autumn statement: Labour’s only safe attack line

5 December 2013 8:56

George Osborne wants to use today’s Autumn Statement to focus on the good figures and his government’s responsible approach to the economy. This, Tory strategists hope, will leave Labour with… Continue reading

The Labour Party Conference Continues

Caroline Flint and Ed Davey clash over who cares most about consumers

2 December 2013 16:49

One of the Conservatives’ great victories in government has been to portray the party as on the side of consumers against behemoth and sometimes inefficient producers. Take education, where Michael… Continue reading

Lynton Crosby

What Lynton Crosby told David Cameron’s political Cabinet

24 November 2013 15:44

The next time you see a Tory minister on television, count how long it is until they say that David Cameron is a leader with a long term plan for… Continue reading

Artificial poinsettia - the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Image: Getty

Poinsettias are just one victim of the energy crisis. Who’ll be next?

15 November 2013 13:32

‘For millions of families’, the Telegraph reports today, poinsettia ‘is as much a festive favourite as turkey and Christmas trees’. Which is odd given that they’re tropical plants which like to… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Attends The Lord Mayor's Banquet

David Cameron: Miliband’s Labour poses the same old danger

12 November 2013 12:42

David Cameron’s speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet yesterday evening rehearsed some basic political arguments that will be honed between now and 2015. Cameron made a decent assault on Labour… Continue reading

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Ed Miliband’s speech on ‘dealing with the cost of living crisis’: full text

5 November 2013 11:41

It is great to be here in Battersea with you today. Last Friday, I was in my constituency, at the local Citizens Advice Bureau. And I talked to some people… Continue reading

Labour's spokesman on public finances. Image: Getty

PMQs sketch: Ed Miliband’s fuel bill and Labour’s trappist vow on public finances

30 October 2013 15:48

It was a doddle for Ed Miliband at PMQs this afternoon. The nation watched agog yesterday as the energy companies deployed a handful of silk-lined suits to justify their price… Continue reading

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We will never save the planet on the backs of the poorest

29 October 2013 15:23

Yesterday – in a crunch vote in the House of Lords – Labour were narrowly defeated by 216 votes to 202. The issue? Energy bills. Except, this time, the Labour… Continue reading


The View from 22 podcast: police vs liberty, health tourism and Westminster’s economic week

24 October 2013 8:30

Are the police wasting too much time on Twitter instead of catching criminals? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Nick Cohen looks at what Britain’s fall in crime has done… Continue reading


Is it still the economy, stupid?

20 October 2013 17:23

The coalition wants this week to be all about the GDP figures, out on Friday. As I say in the Mail on Sunday, Downing Street is confident that they’ll show… Continue reading


Why do we cringe at the term ‘third class’?

20 October 2013 16:20

Alas, it looks like the return to third class travel won’t happen. The papers had got terrifically excited about what seemed like a rolling back of 56 years, when British Rail… Continue reading

A woolly jumper is good enough for ageing Italian actress Isabella Ferrari.

What’s wrong with wearing a woolly jumper for warmth?

18 October 2013 15:01

The moment that a Downing Street spokesman recommended wearing a jumper to reduce high energy bills, you knew that two things would happen. As sure as night follows day, the… Continue reading


Why bother to switch energy provider?

18 October 2013 14:11

The Prime Minister and the Energy Minister, Ed Davey, were unanimous in their response to the British Gas price hike this week by 10 per cent, about four times the… Continue reading


PMQs: The cost of living versus the economy

16 October 2013 13:30

PMQs has settled into a pattern. Ed Miliband attacks David Cameron about the cost of living and David Cameron responds by attacking Ed Miliband about the economy. With economic growth returning,… Continue reading

Image: Getty

The green taxes that add £112 to your energy bill

10 October 2013 11:05

At PMQs yesterday David Cameron said Ed Miliband was suffering ‘complete amnesia’ over his time as energy secretary. Ed might have forgotten some of his climate change policies that put… Continue reading

A Transmission Tower Collapses In Sichuan

PMQs sketch: Ed Balls leaves them wanting more

9 October 2013 16:27

Here’s a favourite Tory joke. Question: What does ‘BBC’ stand for? Answer: Buggers Broadcasting Communism. David Cameron seemed tempted to try this gag at PMQs today. He mentioned the Beeb… Continue reading