The Budget’s mixed messages on housing

On the BBC’s Question Time programme on Thursday night, the Labour Party’s representative on the panel, Chuka Umunna, suggested that one way to reduce the Welfare Budget would be to build 300,000 new homes as this would lead to lower rents and therefore a lower housing benefit bill.  Anna Soubry, the Minister of State for…

Stealing the safety net

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show this morning, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced that in Wednesday’s budget he will be reducing the maximum amount of benefit a person of working age can receive per annum to £23,000.  He indicated that the quoted level would apply in London and a lower cap would be…

My enemy’s enemies

Just over two years ago, the then UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague, was publicly recommending that the Western Democracies should provide arms to the rebels fighting the bloody civil war in Syria against the dictatorship of Bashar al-Hassad.  In a prescient moment, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson,  said that some of the rebels were,…