The Government’s response on sanctions is a whitewash

Across the country, when people on Jobseeker’s Allowance challenge a decision to sanction them, two thirds of cases result in the sanction being overturned. In Islington, the local law centre has a success rate of 100% in challenging sanctions.

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Tories turn their backs on low-income pensioners

First it was the working poor that were made to pay for the latest round of welfare cuts, and now it’s disabled widows. The Government’s claim that welfare reform is based on the principle of “fairness” is crumbling pretty fast.

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Why Labour shouldn’t play the Tories’ game on welfare

These days, it’s almost conventional wisdom that welfare, like immigration, is an issue where the Tories have an unassailable political advantage.

But as a member of the committee which began scrutinising the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill this week, I’ve been reminded of just how tenuous this supposed advantage is.

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Despite big promises on the NHS, the Tories’ record speaks for itself

To hear Jeremy Hunt tell it, there’s nothing but good news for the NHS these days. Last week we were invited to look forward to a future health service where the nurses take Zumba classes and the patients update their own medical records via FitBit.

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Human Rights Conventions: When Some Are More Equal Than Others

When a legal challenge one of the coalition Government’s flagship welfare reforms – an overall cap of £26,000 per year on the amount any family could receive in benefits – was reviewed by the Supreme Court earlier this year, the resulting judgement left many observers scratching their heads. Had the Court declared the cap unlawful or not? The answer seemed to be a mixture of yes and no. 

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Social Care on the Cliff-Edge

This week, reports warned that some of the country’s largest care home providers may be at risk of financial collapse as a result of the Government’s recent increase in the minimum wage. Sadly this didn’t come as a surprise, since it’s widely known both that social care providers are chronically under-funded and carers are chronically under-paid. 

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The gender pay gap can't be closed while the Tories have their heads in the sand

David Cameron displayed a higher than usual level of complacency the other week, writing an article in the Times in which he celebrated “a recent slew of good news” for gender equality. Out in the real world, things are quite a bit less rosy.

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The Shocking Report the Tories Hoped Working Women Wouldn’t See

David Cameron may have generated a few headlines recently when he argued, in an article in the Times, that for those advocating gender equality “there has been a recent slew of good news”. But the reality is somewhat different. Let’s start with the fact that, in the last ten years, the number of women forced out of their jobs – either when they become pregnant or on their return to work after giving birth – has almost doubled.

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The Right to Vote at Risk

There’s been a great deal going on these last few weeks, and though it may not have made the headlines, there are important constitutional changes going on right now...

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Two Speeches, 10,000 Words and No Answers

It was Jeremy Hunt’s big day yesterday, and I was there, at both the King’s Fund speech and in Parliament, to hear him. But after two major speeches and plenty of eye-catching rhetoric, it’s unlikely he will have convinced anybody of his extraordinary claim that the Tories are “the true party of the NHS”...

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