Bedroom Tax: A personal account from Manchester

Article published: Thursday, March 14th 2013

This April the Department for Work and Pensions will be implementing the controversial ‘bedroom tax’, as part of the government’s welfare reforms. The ‘tax’ will affect 12,300 social housing tenants in Manchester alone, who will be hit by 14 per cent to 25 per cent a week penalties for having spare rooms. On Saturday 16 March, those against the new legislation plan to march in protest.

Why women travel

Article published: Tuesday, October 9th 2012

The first Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Northern Ireland will open this week in the face of draconian legal restrictions and threats by anti-choice groups to see it shut down. South of the border, around 4,500 women each year are forced to travel to England to access an abortion. An upcoming documentary, “Why Women Travel”, is to tell their story.

Working poverty: is a living wage enough?

Article published: Wednesday, September 19th 2012

The success of campaigns by London Citizens and others have raised fresh interest in the idea of a living wage. As Manchester City Council bump up the minimum wage for their lowest paid workers to £7.15, with Trafford following suit, living wage activist Barney Wakefield gives his take on its strengths and weaknesses.

We may be working harder, but we’re not all living longer

Article published: Thursday, June 23rd 2011

When Danny Alexander announced plans to link the public sector retirement age to the state pension age in order to increase it to 66, he repeated a common myth: “We are all living longer, that means more years spent in work as well as in retirement.” The same myth was used to justify Tory proposals [...]

Lowest common denominator politics: the cuts and the myths of welfare dependency

Article published: Friday, April 8th 2011

As the massive turnout for the March 26 demonstration in London proved, the cuts are proving to be extremely unpopular, even before they’ve really begun to bite. The coalition anticipated this, and have been expending a great deal of energy since they entered office in creating scapegoats. After all, people might otherwise begin to ask [...]

New Council Houses – crumbs from the table

Article published: Monday, September 14th 2009

Jesus Christ may have been able to feed five thousand hungry punters with a few bits of bread and fish, but do Manchester City Council have the divine powers necessary to spread a handful of new houses around the thousands of people in the city in need of a place to live?