The “Emergency” Budget


I can rarely remember a Budget over which there has already been so much speculation, concern and fear. And the announcements we will hear on Wednesday are not even the annual budget the Chancellor is required to present every March. This is ‘an emergency summer budget’ – made necessary because the Tories pledged to make £12 billion in welfare savings before the Election, without any idea...

Dave drops by and ignores food banks again


Well, well. I hear David Cameron has parachuted into Longbridge today. You know the kind of thing: quick photo opportunity with hard hat, Tory candidate in tow and meet as few local people as possible. We've seen quite a few of these flag waving visits from Tory ministers in recent months. It's a pity the rest of us couldn't ask Mr Cameron a few questions during his whistle-stop today, about what...

Why Labour will scrap the Bedroom Tax


Rachel has two children, aged 4 and 10. She is a care worker on the minimum wage. She recently had her hours cut and is now losing tax credits too. She is also being asked to pay £14 per week Bedroom Tax. It's difficult for her to make ends meet. Anne Marie, from Frankley, is also being charged Bedroom Tax since her marriage split up and her son left home. She is disabled. Her case exposes the...

Voting against the Bedroom Tax


I’ve been contacted by many local people who have told me that they are struggling to cope with the hated bedroom tax, introduced by the Tories and Liberal Democrats in Westminster. The Bedroom Tax is affecting over 13,000 households in Birmingham and over 1300 in the Northfield area alone. People receiving housing benefit, who live in council or housing association homes with a spare bedroom...

Show Some Big Society Spirit in South Birmingham, David Cameron


Just three years ago David Cameron praised the SWEET Project for their work in protecting children and families in South West Birmingham, and providing students with practical experience needed for social work. The organisation has helped train over 400 students from 26 universities from across the UK. But now the Government's rushed cuts to social work education are putting that at risk.

The Government’s PIP Fiasco Goes On


Even though more than 12 months have now passed since the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was rolled out by the Government to replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), many people are still waiting for a decision on their claim to receive it. Given the importance of this payment, and the positive impact it can have on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society, I can only...

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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