They are a stealth tax on the sick, the vulnerable, on families, and our hard-working NHS employees. And nearly 50 per cent of hospitals charge blue-badge holders.
Plus: Why call McCain a maverick?; the Labour MPs who deserve an award for courage; and who is the right’s Artist Taxi Driver?
Robert Halfon: Do Barwell’s bean-counters lack the vision to see why Tories must campaign for social justice?
Plus: why John Bald is wrong to be critical on this site of the Education Select Committee’s report on school exclusions.
Robert Halfon: A second referendum would be an insult to the people, a stunt worthy of a banana republic
Plus: Why it’s unfair to misrepresent Poland’s history; and the joy of a good book and a large cigar.
Robert Halfon: What Hunt has done for the NHS, Hinds must do for schools. We need textbooks, not tanks.
Plus: beware of claims that we’ve reached Peak Corbyn. Don’t raise fuel duty. Scrap hospital car parking charges. And: Hands keeps his promises.
Robert Halfon: AK47s, pluralism, war, students, cigars – and I get high. What I saw amidst Kurdistan’s fledgeling democracy.
I hope that, one day, it is no longer just an autonomous region in Iraq, but gets the independence it deserves.
Robert Halfon: It’s time for Ministers to let local authorities build more council homes, and borrow to do so
We need more houses, not just to buy, but to rent – truly affordably, as well. This is a social justice issue.
Robert Halfon: We need a workers’ party that’s like a modern trade union – not a trivial Nando’s scheme.
We must change our organisation, making it more democratic, accessible for the lower paid and a place in which the most disadvantaged can feel at home.
Robert Halfon: Degree apprenticeships – the key to fighting social injustice in higher education, and boosting productivity.
The new Office for Students must lead in this. There must be sanctions from the new regulator for those universities who are failing in this regard.
Robert Halfon: Ministers should value the Open University no less than Oxbridge. And the latter should open up to apprenticeships.
What is the objective of higher education if it does not play a major role in addressing our country’s skills deficit?
It’s time for us to acknowledge that it is a response to our own failures – and to listen to voters who are opting for it.
Robert Halfon: Apprenticeship funding is good, but the Chancellor should do more to back skills as a tool of social justice
We must rebalance Further and Higher Education, and ensure that those with most to gain from up-skilling actually get the opportunity to do so.
Underpinned by a guarantee of a real-terms increase at minimum, this would help to draw the poison from the issue – particular for Conservatives.
That doesn’t just mean talking about it – it means putting it into practice both in Government and in how we run our own Party operations.
Robert Halfon: Our schools are the best ever – now let’s build on that success, and deliver more social justice
High educational standards are essential, but the most disadvantaged children also need help with workplace skills and social capital.