Friday, April 26, 2013

How Tax Credits Are Set to Rocket

Hardly a surprise, but confirmation from Sajid Javid that the government projects billions more will be spent on tax credits over the next few years. The total spend on child tax and working tax credits has jumped from £24.1 billion in 2008-9 to £29.9 billion this year. The figure is projected to rise again to £32.5 billion by 2017-18. Austerity, what austerity?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Misery Index: Roll on Thursday

Public sector net borrowing is barely changed from last year, down slightly to £15.1 billion. Crucially, after distortions, the drop in borrowing is a paltry £300 million. Osborne can still say borrowing is falling, but only just. Unemployment was up last week to 7.9%, as was the Retail Price Index to 3.3%. Public sector net cash requirement rising to £31.3 billion caps off a set of bad figures for Chancellor Zero. Unsurprising that the misery index is up. Will Thursday cheer us up?

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Poor Got Richer Under Thatcher

One of Maggie’s many memorable memories from the House is her slap down of a young, snivelling Simon Hughes. Channel 4 FactCheck show that she was entirely right: wages went up across the whole spectrum, including for the poorest.

IFS figures show median earnings went up faster under Thatcher than under Major or during Blair’s second and third terms. Everyone got richer on Maggie’s Farm, including the poor. It comes down to this: would you rather be more equal but poorer, or less equal but better off?

Thatcher Tops Best PM Poll

An interesting poll for number crunchers in today’s Sun, not least because Margaret Thatcher is named as Britain’s most popular post-war PM. Dave scored a grand total of zero percent, suffering the indignity of coming behind Alec Douglas-Home. Tony Blair won three elections for the Labour Party but only 21% of Labour supporters felt he was the best post-war PM. Also notable that only 18 percent of Tories went for Churchill compared to 25%, 28% and 36% of Labour, LibDem and UKIP supporters respectively. The winner is clear…

Those results in full.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Polls Show Dave Immigration Speech Flop

YouGov have the first polling figures on immigration since Dave’s big speech, and they aren’t exactly happy reading for the PM. His proposals were welcomed, but 1 in 4 still see UKIP as the party most trusted to deal with immigration. Clegg going for votes he’ll never win by taking a tougher stance and getting under the skin of almost his entire grassroots in the process hasn’t exactly paid off either…

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tale of Two Austerities

In the Commons right now Ed Balls is giving George Osborne a kicking over his “failed austerity” programme. How does it compare with other austerity programmes?

irish-austerity
Since the credit crisis Ireland has cut government spending by 19% in cash terms.

uk-austerity

Over the same period Britain has increased government spending by 3% in cash terms.

What austerity?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Poll: Public Support Spare Room Subsidy Reforms

Liam Byrne calls it a “hated tax”, Jim Murphy says the government should “listen” to the public. Most damning of all, Owen Jones warns of the disastrous electoral consequences of the government’s changes to the spare room subsidy:

“A warning to Number 10. You calculate your attempt to demonise benefit claimants has paid off, removing all potential empathy. But – unfortunately for you – most are decent people. When the electorate realise you are inflicting misery not on “scroungers”, but on some of the most vulnerable in society, your campaign will fail. You bank on the suffering remaining below the radar, and you will be proved wrong. We will hammer you with the consequences, and, in time, you will be defeated.”

Apparently not content with peddling the bedroom “tax” lie, a YouGov poll shows Labour aren’t being entirely truthful about what the public think, either. Awkwardly, 49% of the public support the government’s reforms, compared to just 38% against. Even 34% of Labour voters support the policy. They won the battle on how the debate was framed in the media, but despite what Owen says the “decent people” he talks of recognise that the reforms make sense…

UPDATE: At least one Shadow minister is finally listening to the public:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Voters Jump From Main Three to UKIP

Food for thought for the leaders of the main three parties in Lord Ashcroft’s latest polling. Over a fifth of those who voted Tory in 2010 jumped to UKIP yesterday. Interestingly, almost the same proportion of Chris Huhne’s voters chose the UKIP candidate this time round. Diane James also took 17% of Labour’s 2010 vote. Just 59% of 2010 Tories voted blue and only 51% of those who voted for Huhne backed Mike Thornton. UKIP are taking votes from all three parties…

GRAPH: Eastleigh in Numbers

Significantly fewer people turned out for both the Tories and LibDems yesterday compared with 2010; the blues down 14% and the yellows by 14.5%. Labour’s vote was largely unchanged. A huge swing to UKIP…

Monday, February 18, 2013

Smallest and Youngest Downing Street Team on Record


As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, there is some truth to the much-levelled charge that Downing Street is overrun with “kids”. The PM’s team is smaller and younger than at any point in the last ten years. The Prime Minister’s Office currently employs 181 staffers, almost 50 fewer than at the peak of Tony Blair’s government. Their average age is 39, lower than any point in the last ten years other than 2004/5, when it was the same. And they’ve been getting younger since Dave took office…


Seen Elsewhere

Times and Telegraph 150 Years Behind | LibDem Voice
Piers Morgan Offered Job as Trainee Reporter | Grimsby Telegraph
Does Boris Belong in Zombie Parliament? | Rafael Behr
What’s Wrong With Political Journalism | ConHome
Labour’s Co-Op Spin | Indy
Inside an Islamist Takeover Plot School | Newsnight
Ed Heads to Scotland | Sun
Assad’s New Chemical Weapon Attacks | National Review
Jason Groves New Mail Deputy Pol Ed | MediaGuido
Cocaine Conservatives | Standard
Jezza Browne Responds to LibDem Haters | LibDem Voice


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Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)


Via @courtnewsuk, asked in court about Rebekah Brooks’ letter referring to waiting for 6 years, Andy Coulson says he had a “different interpretation” of their relationship.



Nick Clegg says:

Do you want lies with that?


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