Honeyball’s Weekly Round Up

Labour Party

It hardly surprising that women are the hardest hit following the coalition cuts. But perhaps our attention to this will be confirmed by the Fawcett Society which summed up the situation so perfectly when it said the Primeminister David Cameron is ‘grinding down women.’

The organisation claimed that women were being treated disproportionately.

If anyone was in doubt then the figures speak for themselves: More than two thirds of the £16billion the chancellor is making is by slashing the welfare budget.

Within the last 18 months ministers have axed the health in pregnancy grant, Sure Start centres have closed, housing benefit has been cut and tax credits slashed, so it’s hardly surprising that women should desert them in their droves.

Shadow minister for women, Yvette Cooper summed it up well when she highlighted that it was the Labour Party which warned that women would be hit far more significantly by the cuts than their male counterparts.

She said: “This shows what we’ve been warning since the emergency Budget – women are being much harder hit by the Tory-led Government’s decisions.

You can read more on the report here.

And the situation is worse still in Greece.

As rumours abound that the Greek Prime Minister will quit within the next few hours it is a fractious time.

And the coalition Government in Britain similarly remain in turmoil as they get over last week’s vote concerning whether the UK should hold a referendum on its relationship with the EU.

Meanwhile the Chancellor continues to make grand statements of questionable use speaking as world leaders debated the crisis amid continuing turmoil in Greece.

He warned a Greek exit from the euro would be “pretty traumatic” and called on the countries which use the single currency to “face up to their responsibilities” and ensure a solution was found.

However, it is his party which is confused over its European policy, uneasy about the level of integration and many are seeking a way out, so his words are unsurprisingly hollow.

You can read more on the crisis here.

Taxation levied by Brussels is not acceptable.

Labour Party

You may have seen and heard this story yesterday.

Budget  Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski has proposed that certain new taxes be raised directly by the EU to plug the ever increasing hole in the EU’s finances. Unsurprsingly this idea was met with derision across the Union, including Germany.

I totally agree with the view that the EU should not levy taxes directly as taxation is, and should remain, undertaken  by member states.  It would be quite wrong for the EU to dictate what taxes were to be paid by the British people and how much we should give them.

However, I have sympathy with the new areas for taxation put forward by Lewandowski, namely financial transactions, aviation fuel and carbon emissions.  All three of these could make a contribution to UK revenues and be offset against the cuts the coalition government is hell bent on making.  On the other hand, would Cameron, Osborne and Clegg really be prepared to make the banks, the airlines and industrial users of power pay their due share?  Somehow I doubt it.   

I was asked to comment by both BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 2.

You can hear the Radio 5 live interview here and the Radio 2 interview here.