The welfare debate must be about values not exceptions

I don’t want to write a blog about the benefits cap. It would be a very easy thing to do. I could point out that, while £26,000 a year of course sounds like a lot of money, it doesn’t go very far when rents in London and the south east are so high.

Or that the comparison between families on benefits and families in work is unfair and bogus, given that a renting family earning £26k in London would … Read more

The strange death of NIMBY England

Last week we revealed more evidence of the sheer level of anxiety among voters about housing, particularly parents anxious about their children’s future. Heading into the election, it’s making housing a top 5 issue for voters.

Up to now, though, anxiety has not always been joined by public support for the solution: building more homes. Sure, people have always agreed with the need for more homes generally, but “not here, not there”, not locally; not in my backyard. This has … Read more

Local Welfare: Last Chance Saloon

After almost a year of wrangling, the final decision on local welfare funding is about to be made. All consultations are now closed, a decision is imminent and things don’t look good.

Local welfare has ended up in the last chance saloon.

The whole sorry saga almost defies belief; a departmental stitch up, a coalition split, a judicial review, a ministerial stand-off, numerous disingenuous consultations, and a smoke and mirrors “identified” funding trick. A plot with more … Read more