Ripping themselves apart

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Jim asks if Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are going to continue tearinging each other apart in the Tory leadership contest? He also wonders if party members want ideological tax cuts or a chance of winning the next election when they cast their votes?

The ‘peace dividend’ ends just at the wrong time

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With the Governor of the Bank of England predicting a recession, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine smashing the ‘peace dividend’ and the prime minister indulging in economic Cake-ism, does the government have a plan to grow the economy? Frank McKenna suggests tax -cutting may be the way to go.

Sunak confirms that he has no plan

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The introduction of a windfall tax may offer some short-term relief for those hardest hit by energy price hikes – but it is no substitute for an economic strategy. Frank McKenna argues that Rishi Sunak and the government has no clue as how to manage the economy – and is the first Conservative administration to have an aversion to tax cuts.

Burnham and Neville: The Dream team

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Jim gives his views on the leadership of Keir Starmer after two visits to Greater Manchester in a week by the Labour leader. He also asks why so few Chancellors make it to being Prime Minister.

Remember levelling up Rishi?

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Jim looks at the implications of the Chancellor’s statement on the Levelling Up agenda and the date of the next General Election.

Critical budget for Sunak’s prospects

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Refill the Covid depleted coffers or protect families from a severe cut in their living standards? Jim looks forward to the Chancellor’s choices in next week’s spring statement

Time for the Government to pivot on net-zero

The SPD/Green coalition in Germany have adopted a more pragmatic approach to energy policy. Labour mayor Andy Burnham is rethinking Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone. Surely its time for the Conservative government to review its net zero ambitions? Frank McKenna calls on the government to ‘pivot’ on energy policy in his latest Downtown blog.

Time to rethink tax hikes and net zero targets?

The idea of a tax hike and ambitious net zero targets may have looked attractive post-COVID and pre-Christmas. But with the cost of living crisis biting hard, inflation running amok, and Vladimir Putin throwing the world into crisis, Frank McKenna is urging the government to rethink its plans.

Sunak massive bailout part 2

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The Chancellor is contemplating a second massive bail out just two years after the pandemic furlough scheme. Jim looks at the energy options facing the government on the world stage.

Cheery defiance to the gathering storm

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Jim asks if the Chancellor’s breezy Budget optimism is justified and the difficulty Labour has in opposing a high spending, high taxing government.

Cutting up PM’s credit card

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After Business Bashing Boris,the Chancellor is likely to be more supportive of bosses in next week’s Budget according to Jim as he previews what we can expect from Rishi Sunak on Wednesday.