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The Disraeli Room is a hub for new ideas, commentary and analysis. ResPublica's blog is named after the great reforming Prime Minister of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Disraeli, and welcomes contributions from across the political, academic and professional spectrum.
As other journalists and commentators have noted, despite the impressive achievements of the Conservatives in coalition – jobs up, incomes increased and bureaucracy streamlined – the party still has a reputation for cut-throat ‘nastiness’ and serving entrenched privilege.
Our health and social care systems are at a crossroads and of the wide-ranging health challenges currently facing the UK, one of the most unsettling issues is the persistent health inequalities experienced by populations across the North of England.
As we approach polling day, I believe the choice we are facing on the future of the NHS is becoming ever more clear. The choice is simple: between the focus of Jeremy Hunt and the Conservative Health team on supporting NHS leaders to improve the culture of care and transparency, promote patient empowerment and accelerate access to new treatments by unlocking the power of the NHS as a pioneer of medical innovation, and the depressing sight of Andy Burnham determined to ‘weaponise’ the NHS for partisan advantage.
When we step back and review how our lives work one thing that becomes abundantly clear is that they are entwined with the financial system. On a daily basis, we depend on financial services to enable us to eat, work and sleep.
The years since the turn of the century have been ones of growth and modernisation in the credit union sector. In 2000, there were 687 credit unions with 325,000 members, lending £175 million and with total assets of £214 million.
There are two valid criticisms of Labour’s manifesto. One mentioned by a Labour loyalist friend of mine who tweeted ‘Labour should have produced a shiny looking short-form manifesto alongside the real thing’.
With over 200 people attending across the Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI) industry, as well as across the private, public and public sectors, there was an undeniable buzz around Community Finance 2015 – the CDFA’s annual conference – at the Grand Connaught Rooms last month.
In previous years the release of the Green Party General Election manifesto has not been accompanied with a great deal of interest from the national media, but with a growing share of the vote and with the outcome of the election staggeringly uncertain, the party may yet help to determine who forms the new administration.
It is further evidence of the priority now accorded to housing policy by the public and the media that much of the interest in the Conservative Party manifesto, published today, has focused on the proposed extension of the ‘right to buy’ policy to housing association (HA) tenants.
Since the financial crisis of 2008 there have been significant changes in access to credit. Much has been written about difficulties faced by small businesses, and the behaviour of banks withdrawing from small loans and (perceived) high risk investments.
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