Tax the rich? Hardship payments for benefit claimants? Sorry Nick – we believed you once before

The Liberal Democrats have launched a desperate attempt to win back voters, packing their General Election manifesto with meaningless pledges. Why are they meaningless? Because the Liberal Democrats, under the same leader (Nick Clegg), made pledges to us before the 2010 election – having already hammered out an agreement with the Conservatives that meant they would not be able to honour those commitments. There is evidence that teams representing the Tories and Liberal Democrats negotiated what would be in a coalition agreement on March 16, 2010 – and abolishing student tuition fees,…

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Divisions in Coalition as MPs demand independent inquiry on poverty

Calls for a ‘commission of inquiry’ into the impact of the government’s changes to social security entitlements on poverty have won overwhelming support from Parliament. The motion by Labour’s Michael Meacher was passed with a massive majority of 123 votes; only two people – David Nuttall and Jacob Rees-Mogg – voted against it. The debate enjoyed cross-party support, having been secured by Mr Meacher with Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative) and John Hemming (Liberal Democrat). Introducing the motion, Mr Meacher said: “It is clear that something terrible is happening across the…

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Another Tory ‘bait-and-switch’ scam – shares-for-rights scheme is employers’ tax dodge

“This government is taking action domestically on [tax] avoidance and evasion,” wrote George Osborne in an article for The Observer, back in February. How right he was. The Tory-led Coalition has done everything in its power to facilitate tax avoidance and ignore evasion, it seems, including the latest wheeze, which is to link it with a feeble attempt to get working people to throw away their rights in exchange for a few shares. The BBC has reported that the new status of “employee shareholder” has come into force, allowing working…

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Employee ownership: Has the government actually done something right?

Today, July 4, is officially Employee Ownership Day – did you know that? Employee ownership means all employees of a business have a significant and meaningful stake in it. This could include financial participation but must include provision of access to organisational structures. Where financial participation does take place, there is currently no set rule on what percentage of issued shares is a significant and meaningful stake, and this is something that I believe should be changed to ensure it is worthwhile. Employee ownership can generally take one of three forms:…

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Tory insanity outbreak: Now disgraced Liam Fox wants to harm pensioners

There seems to be an increasing willingness among politicians to give high regard to disgraced ex-colleagues. Only last weekend, Nick Clegg praised Chris Huhne, who faces sentencing today after being convicted of perverting the course of justice regarding speeding points on his driving licence. Now Liam Fox has weighed into the debate on future Conservative Party policy. Dr Fox had to resign after being asked why a man who was not a part of the government had attended more than half of his official engagements including trips abroad, at the…

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