Tag: Welfare reform

The gathering storm

A storm is heading our way. That’s the only conclusion you can sensibly draw from reading the second annual independent Homelessness Monitor, funded by Crisis and published this month. Homelessness is a complex phenomenon, with its roots in the interaction of structural, social and individual factors. Broad economic […]

Osbo’s poverty trap and pinging the elastic of reality

Since they entered office the blue-tinged contingent of the Coalition has been engaged in a systematic process of stigmatising those in receipt of social security benefits. Great emphasis has been placed upon the undeserving and the fraudulent. There is support for the hard working strivers, but condemnation for […]

Policy challenges around welfare reform

[This is the text to accompany my presentation to open the South West Observatory seminar “Welfare reform: challenges, impacts and evidence”, 13/11/12] Where to start? Politicians are prone to hyperbole. The most minor modification to a relatively peripheral policy is portrayed as a groundbreaking initiative. However, in the […]

Not so Marr-vellous

I’m having trouble getting this morning’s Andrew Marr Show out of my head. This is not pleasant. There are two causes of this affliction, both relating to the interview with Iain Duncan Smith. The first is the rather extraordinary approach taken by Marr. To call it the interviewer’s […]

Dreaming of Nick Clegg

The other night I dreamt that I’d won a competition and the prize was the opportunity to meet Nick Clegg.* Not only that, I wasn’t meeting him simply so he could tell me what he thought about policy and government. It was a proper discussion, which meant I […]

Reaching the Terrible Twos

Today is the second anniversary of this blog opening for business. Happy Birthday – Blorthday? No, that sounds awful – to me. Another year of offering a largely indifferent world some more or less coherent thoughts on a range of loosely related topics. This landmark arrives at a […]

Cameron’s war on welfare

I was considering blogging in detail about David Cameron’s speech yesterday on welfare. But I decided against it. There are already several very good critiques of the substance of the speech. Plenty of people, including IPPR’s Nick Pearce, have pointed out that the speech was primarily about politics […]

On curbing housing benefit

The Coalition committed itself to reducing the aggregate housing benefit bill, which stood at around £20bn per year when it took office. The seemingly inexorable growth in housing benefit payments had been identified as a problem before the Coalition’s formation. It was one indicator that the housing market […]