We’ve heard much about the so-called ‘cost of living crisis’ of late; but also a good deal about how, now that the economy is recovering, we’re all supposed to be feeling better off.
And yet for most people the GDP figures mean very little – average wages are still increasing at a slower pace than inflation, and many are increasingly relying upon charities and food banks to make ends meet.
To get an idea of just why so many people are struggling, take a look at this graph, which tracks the increase in the cost of basic food items from 2012 to 2013:
By Darren Johnson, Green Party member of the London Assembly
Boris Johnson is heading down to Cannes this week to flog regeneration projects to investors and developers at MIPIM, the world’s largest property fair. He told the BBC he was going to “lobby key investors and developers to help double house-building, including more affordable homes”.
And yet affordable housing is the last thing on their minds, and the Mayor is all too happy to wave through regeneration schemes with or without it.
Take Mount Pleasant, for example. He took this decision out of the hands of the two local councils at the request of the recently-privatised Royal Mail Group, who own the site. They want to get planning permission so they can sell it on to a developer with a big mark-up. Read More
Andrew Noakes is the chair of the Labour Campaign for Human Rights
September, 2001. President Bush responds to the most catastrophic attack on America in the country’s history by uniting the international community around a new agenda – to combat terrorism and extremism wherever in the world it can be found.
The first move is to topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which as well as harbouring Al Qaeda has been massacring Afghans and trampling on their rights for years.
But instead of abandoning the country and swiftly moving on to invade Iraq, Bush orders a concerted effort to build the new Afghan state and guard against the Taliban’s return. Read More
Should it win the General Election next year, Labour will guarantee starter jobs for anyone between 18 and 24 who have been out of work for a year.
The Compulsory Jobs Guarantee will be funded for the whole of the next parliament and will mean than any young person out of work for 12 months will receive a paid starter job. They will risk losing their benefits if they fail to take it.
The policy will be paid for by a tax on bankers’ bonuses and restricting pensions tax relief for people earning over £150,000 a year. The scheme will work by the government paying workers’ wages and employer’s national insurance contributions for 25 hours a week over a period of six months. Read More
By William Ronan of the Radical Housing Network
Waking up at 6.30am to watch property firm employees in lycra eat croissants isn’t the most appetising start to a Wednesday morning.
These cyclists weren’t just going for a mid-week jaunt into the countryside, however, but are currently cycling to the infamously decadent MIPIM conference – the world’s largest real estate fair. Read More
What connects a murdered black teenager, a vulnerable man unlawfully killed on the streets of London, football supporters killed in a stadium disaster and a Tory chief whip?
Police misconduct has been implicated in all of these examples, and in the case of the investigation into her son’s death, Doreen Lawrence has recently issued a blanket statement claiming that you cannot trust the police. Read More
Penny Young is chief executive of NatCen Social Research
The British public is bothered about inequality. NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey finds that in 2012, pretty much everybody (eight in ten) thought the income gap too large.
And it is not surprising that so many feel like this, given the levels of poverty and the extent of income inequality in the UK. For example, in 2011-12 4.7 million households in the UK were below the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Minimum Income Standard; the income that people need in order to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living. Read More
We are less than 500 days away from the next General Election that will decide our future – and Tory spin doctors are already paying to spread their message across the UK.
Only rigorous independent media and analysis can combat the best spin money can buy. Left Foot Forward is incredibly important because they fight back against rhetoric and misinformation no matter where it comes from.
Left Foot Forward can continue to do this only as long as they remain independent. Can you give just £1 or £2 a week to help Left Foot Forward push back against Tory spin?
Click here to help out. Read More
John Earls is research section head at Unite the union
Speaking at last week’s annual TUC & IDS Pay Forum, I posed the question: is it time for a collective bargaining renaissance?
The decline in living standards and real wages and the increase in wage inequality have been well documented. But the share of national income that goes in wages has also shrunk to 54 per cent from a mid-1970s peak of 65 per cent. Workers – or the vast majority of them – are getting a smaller share of the economic pie.
What has been going on in parallel to these trends is that collective bargaining coverage – the proportion of workers who have their pay and conditions negotiated collectively by trade unions – has also declined. Read More