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Election update, 26 April: a test of endurance

Housing is back on the agenda today, with Labour’s pledge to cap rent increases featuring on the front page of The Observer and The Sunday Times. Read our housing briefing for more background;…

‘Stealth privatisation’ of the NHS? Private patients in NHS hospitals

“Average Private Patient Income per Foundation Trust is up 58 per cent since 2010, including a 17 per cent rise in the year the Tory-led Government abolished the Private Patient…

Election 2015: Health

GPs Common claims: “A quarter of us are unable to get an appointment with a GP within a week.” Misleading – we don’t know how many people are unable to get…

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Election update, 25 April: coalition combinations, polls, and the continuing fallout over Lord Janner

The potential for coalition manoeuvring post-election continues to make headlines, featuring on the front pages of the Financial Times and Telegraph today. Also on the front page of the Telegraph…

Jobs growth: how much are foreign workers getting?

“Under Labour, for years, 90 per cent of job growth was taken up by foreign workers. With the Conservatives, two-thirds of our job growth now benefits British citizens.”—David Cameron in…

Does the largest political party form the government?

The next government won't depend on who is the largest party... governments in the House of Commons are about who can command a majority—Nicola Sturgeon, 24 April 2015 The biggest…

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Election 2015: Debt and deficit

The deficit measures the gap between money going into government, and money going out. If the government spends more than it receives, it is in deficit. Otherwise it is in…

The facts about zero hour contracts

They've been called 'flexible' by some and 'exploitative' by others, but what are zero hour contracts? What rights do people employed on them have? And how many people are on…

More than 1 million people used food banks last year: that’s not what the evidence shows

Claims about food banks are not new. But since they were brought up by Jeremy Paxman in the ‘Battle for Number 10′ interviews, we’ve seen a range of claims about food banks…

Election 2015: Europe

The cost of membership “Our EU membership fee is £55 million a day”—Nigel Farage, 26 March 2014  In the calendar year 2014, we did pay over £53 million a day…

Election 2015: Immigration

Immigration is seen as the most important single issue facing Britain today. Most people are opposed to immigration in general, although if you dig a bit deeper people are more…

Election 2015: housing

Key issues Housebuilding has not been keeping up with the rate of demand for a long time. Latest figures show that the rate of house building over time and number of…

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Employment: what you need to know

The latest figures on people in work are out today, with new data up to February 2015. Here's what we've learned so far. There are now over 31 million people in work.…

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Key claims from the Conservatives’ manifesto launch

The Conservatives have published their election manifesto. We've taken a look at their claims on the economy, jobs, taxes, and the NHS, taken from David Cameron's speech as the manifesto was unveiled,…

Key claims from Labour’s manifesto launch

The Labour Party has made its case for winning the next election, launching its manifesto today. We've looked at their claims on borrowing, job insecurity, house building, immigration and social care, taken…

Key claims from the Liberal Democrat manifesto launch

The Liberal Democrats have launched their election manifesto. We've checked their claims on the economy, health spending, mental health and apprenticeships, taken from Nick Clegg's speech at the manifesto launch, and from…

Key claims from the UKIP manifesto launch

UKIP pitched up in Thurrock today, where Nigel Farage and Suzanne Evans delivered speeches launching the party’s general election manifesto. We’ve looked at some of the headline claims on Europe, immigration, health…

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Election update, 24 April: spending plans, an English manifesto and foreign policy

Discussion continues on the economy today, following on from the briefing on the parties’ spending plans published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) yesterday. The Conservatives are expected to…

Lord Janner prosecution decision: process or plot?

“Ruling raises new fears of establishment cover-up”—The Times, 16 April 2015 The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said yesterday that it would not prosecute Lord Janner, a Labour peer, in relation to alleged…

How has poverty changed in recent years?

Whether it’s within the wider context of living standards or how many people are using foodbanks, the number of people in poverty has been an emotive and hotly contended issue from…

Election 2015: the economy

We usually measure the performance of the UK economy by looking at Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This measures the value of all the final goods and services produced within the…

“DIY justice” or vital reform – what do we know about legal aid?

A "Vote for Justice" rally organised by a group of criminal law solicitors is taking place today, aiming to put legal aid on the election agenda. We've taken a closer look…

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Election update, 23 April: Economy, economy, economy

Chancellor George Osborne was on the Today programme this morning and the Institute of Fiscal studies is briefing the media today on its analysis of the budget plans in each manifesto.…

Election 2015: Taxes and the cost of living

Most of the government’s tax revenue comes from income tax, national Insurance and VAT. In 2015/16, UK taxpayers don’t have to pay tax on the first £10,600 of your income…