Centre Write
Centre Write
In these enlightened days, nobody apart from the most contrarian of internet trolls, is in favour of discrimination. So how do we explain the gender wage gap – the much-discussed gap between what men and women earn? Do we live in a world of hypocrites? Or are people in positions of power discriminating against women without knowing it? Perhaps the best place to start in unpacking the gender wage gap debate is to acknowledge that pay can be measured in…
When we launched Renewal in the heatwave summer of 2013, our express goal was that the Conservative Party should be seen as the ‘workers’ party’, unapologetically being on the side of working people. And with policy moves like the Northern Powerhouse and the National Living Wage, the Party is going a long way to make that a reality. Now, with Labour’s catastrophic doubling down into the obsessions of Islington and its election of Jeremy Corbyn, Conservatives can take this opportunity…
The 1975 referendum on Britain’s membership of the then European Economic Community has, until recently, been something of a historical footnote - remembered primarily perhaps for Margaret’s Thatcher’s startling choice of flag-branded knitwear when launching the Remain campaign. However, with a re-run of that referendum due in just over three month’s time, this rather dusty corner of modern British history has moved from sartorial marginalia to the political spotlight; campaigners from both sides are seeking insights from their antecedent’s experiences…
The Rt Hon Lord Willetts on tax credits and the future of in-work benefits The Chancellor did the right thing in deciding not to pursue his cuts to tax credits. The scale of the proposed losses for low income working families was just too much for them. That was the pragmatic political argument and it was very persuasive. But it leaves open another and deeper question. What do Conservatives think of tax credits in principle? Do they fit in to…
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 10:54

Nick Hurd MP: Why I’m a Bright Blue MP

Nick Hurd MP on Bright Blue’s role in shaping forward-looking policy The Conservative Party needs to be constantly nudged out of its comfort zone. In a changing world, future success as a political party depends on our ability to think deeply about the big challenges of the era. That is why I think Bright Blue is so important as a goad. Indeed more important than ever. In his latest book, Charles Handy writes about how the most successful organisations, like…
Frances O’Grady on the place of trade unions in the modern world. In my job, I am privileged to meet workers from all over the country. One of the workers whose story has stayed with me is Daisy, who worked in a cinema in south London. Daisy and her colleagues just weren’t paid enough to live on – but by banding together as a union, they were able to get a 23% pay rise. Daisy isn’t the media’s stereotype of…
Wingham Rowan asks if it is time for a full-spectrum employment policy We seem to be witnessing the start of a ‘Great Fragmentation’ in developed economies. Supply and demand across all sorts of sectors is breaking down into smaller units. Householders renting their sofas on occasional nights pushed AirBnB to the world’s fifth biggest hotelier six years after launch. Taskrabbit workers drop everything when booked for a half hour’s courier work that would previously have gone to a company rostering…
For decades, Britain has not built enough houses. Today, housing completions lie well short of the number required to stabilise the market, despite a strong economy. This lack of supply is widely diagnosed, but solutions are trickier. Interestingly, recent research has indicated that an existing government policy, Help to Buy, is having a strong positive effect upon supply. Help to Buy makes up to 20% of the cost of a newly built home available to first time buyers as an…
In 1942, the architect of the welfare state, Sir William Beveridge, characterised the self-employed as “small shopkeepers, crofters, fishermen, hawkers, outworkers”. Suffice to say that times change and with the number of people self-employed burgeoning – up to 4.62 million and 15% of the UK’s workforce – understanding the characteristics of this group vital. Earlier this week, Bright Blue published its report Standing alone? which focuses on self-employed individuals who are in low income households - households with income below…
As the referendum debate rages on, Conservatives can make an argument to remain in the EU based not on fear for the consequences of Brexit, but on a passionate attachment to the principles at the heart of the Union - conservative principles. The tie-up between British conservatism and the dream of a European community of nations was widely recognised for much of the twentieth century. Speaking in 1975 Margaret Thatcher looked back to Disraeli's aspirations for trans-European diplomacy to argue…

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