Weekly Economics Podcast

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Synopsis

Award-winning podcast about the economic forces shaping our world, with Ayeisha Thomas-Smith and guests. New episodes on Mondays.Produced by James Shield. Programme editor for NEF: Huw Jordan.Brought to you by the New Economics Foundation the independent think tank and charity campaigning for a fairer, sustainable economy.

Episodes

  • Should we work less after the pandemic?

    16/11/2020 Duration: 38min

    Setting up a desk area in the kitchen, Zoom call-induced headaches, or getting furloughed and paid to not do any work - this year has shaken up the world of work like never before. The pandemic has made us reimagine how work fits into our economy and our lives. So, with 79% of business leaders and nearly two-thirds of the public open to bringing in a shorter working week in light of the pandemic, should we be thinking more about working less? Could a shorter working week help us recover from coronavirus? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Alfie Stirling, NEF Director of Research and Chief Economist, and Anna Coote, Principal Fellow at NEF to discuss their new book with Aidan Harper, The Case for a Four-Day Week. The book will be out on the 27th November, go to the Polity website to grab a copy https://politybooks.com/bookdetail/?isbn=9781509539642 ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Poddington Bear and Blue Dot Sessions under Creative Commons license. Enjoying the sh

  • Should we shake up taxes to recover from the pandemic?

    06/11/2020 Duration: 43min

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said that Britain faces new tax rises in the wake of the pandemic. But over the summer Labour’s shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds warned against increasing taxes during an economic crisis. Meanwhile, new research has found that increasing numbers of Tory voters are in favour of higher taxes. So, what do Labour and the Conservatives think about tax rises? Should we be changing the tax system during a recession? And if taxes do rise, who should be paying the most? Ayeisha is joined by Robert Palmer, executive director of Tax Justice UK and Anoosh Chakelian, Britain editor at the New Statesman. -Find out more on Tax Justice UK's work on tax and public opinion here: https://www.taxjustice.uk/tax-and-public-opinion.html -Read the report Living on Different Incomes in London: Can public consensus identify a 'riches line'? https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/publications/can-public-consensus-identify-a-riches-line/ ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by

  • The US election narrative war

    23/10/2020 Duration: 46min

    The US presidential election is less than a fortnight away - and Donald Trump and Joe Biden are pulling out all the stops to get the votes. But after a chaotic debate forced moderators to cut the candidates’ mics to stop them interrupting each other, it’s hard to get a grip on what messages they’re trying to get across. How have the different campaigns been selling themselves? Will Biden’s attacks on Trump be a winning strategy? And how should progressives be pushing for change? Ayeisha is joined by communications expert and principle at ASO Communications, Anat Shenker-Osario. Resources available at https://asocommunications.com/ and https://raceclassnarrativeaction.com/ ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Poddington Bear and Chris Zabriskie under Creative Commons license. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation. Find out more at www.neweconomics.org

  • What's going on with Brexit?

    16/10/2020 Duration: 34min

    Brexit - remember it? Way back in the distant past of 2019 it felt like it was all the newspapers could talk about. It might feel like it’s done and dusted, but the process is still rumbling on. We’ve got an Internal Market Bill that the government itself admits will break international law. MPs just voted through a Bill refusing to guarantee food and farming standards after we leave the EU. And apparently we’re moving the UK border to Kent. So, what exactly is going on? What will happen when the transition period ends on New Years Eve? And what does it all mean for the UK economy? Ayeisha is joined Marley Morris, Associate Director for Immigration, Trade and EU relations at the Institute for Public Policy Research. ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Poddington Bear and Christian Bjoerklund under Creative Commons license. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation. Find

  • Building a caring economy

    09/10/2020 Duration: 34min

    “We want to build back greener as we recover from Covid-19” - that was the message this week at the Prime Minister’s Conservative Party Conference speech. But in all the talk of wind turbines and technology, the place of care in our economic recovery didn’t really get a look in. Why is care often so overlooked when we think about the economy? And how would our lives change if we put care at the centre of our economic decisions? Ayeisha is joined by Jo Littler, Professor of Social Analysis and Cultural Politics at City University of London, Marion Sharples, Project Manager and Researcher at the Women’s Budget Group and NEF Senior Economist, Sarah Arnold. The Care Manifesto: The Politics of Interdependence is available on the Verso website https://www.versobooks.com/books/3706-care-manifesto Read the final report of the Commission on a Gender-Equal Economy https://wbg.org.uk/commission/ ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Poddington Bear and Blue Dot Sessions under Crea

  • Is competition killing us?

    06/10/2020 Duration: 33min

    Our track-and-trace system will be “world-beating”. The development of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is “months ahead” of its competitors around the world. This is how politicians and the media have been talking about our lines of defence against the coronavirus pandemic. But when facing up to a global problem that connects us all, why is competition the only language we have to talk about it? How has competition come to define our economy and society? What do we miss out on when we focus on competition? And is there a way out? Ayeisha is joined by Michelle Meagher, author of new book, Competition is Killing Us and Grace Blakeley, staff writer at Tribune and author of upcoming book, The Corona Crash: How the Pandemic will Change Capitalism. Grab a copy of Michelle's book https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/315/315772/competition-is-killing-us/9780241423011.html Grace's book is out on the 27th October https://www.versobooks.com/books/3723-the-corona-crash ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Beck

  • Can unions transform the economy?

    25/09/2020 Duration: 32min

    Amid the coronavirus crisis, the number of people becoming members of a union has skyrocketed. Unison reported 65,000 new members since the start of the year, and in the last six months, 50,000 people have joined the National Education Union. The TUC worked with the chancellor to create the furlough scheme, and teaching unions were partly responsible for the government U-turn over face masks in schools. It certainly looks like union influence has had a boost, as they fight against redundancies and for the health and safety of their members. But what about outside of the workplace? Can unions and their members change the rules of the economy? Ayeisha is joined by Alice Martin and Annie Quick, authors of Unions Renewed: Building Power in an Age of Finance. Grab a copy of the book at https://politybooks.com/bookdetail/?isbn=9781509539116&subject_id=2 ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Poddington Bear and David Hillowitz, used under Creative Commons licence. Enjoying the

  • Covid-19 and global capitalism

    14/08/2020 Duration: 34min

    It’s a cliche by now to say that Covid-19 has upended our economy. Industries have ground to a halt, and are only just beginning to start up again. Just this week the UK plunged into recession, with the worst drop in GDP of any G7 nation. But what about outside the G7? How have the effects of Covid ricocheted around the global economy? In the last few episodes we’ve heard how Covid-19 has affected government spending, unemployment, and the hostile environment in the UK. For this episode, we want to look farther afield at how the pandemic is affecting economies across the world - especially in the Global South. Ayeisha is joined by Dr Tobias Franz, Lecturer in Economics at SOAS and Shreya Nanda, Economist at the Centre for Economic Justice at the Institute for Public Policy Research. ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Blue Dot Sessions and Poddington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The Weekly Ec

  • How do we win a green recovery?

    07/08/2020 Duration: 40min

    We’re facing two global crises. We have scientific evidence for how to deal with both of them, but governments aren’t acting quickly enough. They both show how we are all more connected than we previously thought. And to tackle them will require massive changes in how we run our economy. The first problem is Covid-19. The other, though it’s fallen off the front pages, is as urgent as ever: the climate crisis. How do we keep climate in the picture? Should we bail out struggling polluting industries? And how can we make sure our Covid recovery is green? In this episode of the Weekly Economics Podcast, Ayeisha is joined by Chaitanya Kumar, Head of Environment and the Green Transition at the New Economics Foundation and Fatima Zahra-Ibrahim, co-director of Green New Deal UK. Read new NEF report on decarbonising the Bank of England's corporate QE programme here: https://bit.ly/30yURpe Vice investigation into company bailouts is available here: https://bit.ly/33HFtcd Write to your MP to stop blank cheque bailo

  • Where does conservatism go next?

    03/08/2020 Duration: 34min

    For most of the last decade, the Conservative government has said they want to cut government spending to balance the books as they rolled out austerity nationwide. But since the start of lockdown, something seems to have changed. The chancellor keeps saying “this is not the time for ideology” as he announces new, expensive schemes to keep the economy afloat. So - what’s going on? It’s not the first time that politicians have announced ‘the end of austerity’. But, with the government paying the wages of up to a third of the UK workforce through the furlough scheme, has something shifted? Has the government truly moved ‘beyond ideology’? Will austerity be back - but by another name? And where does conservatism go from here? In this episode of the Weekly Economics Podcast Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by NEF CEO Miatta Fahnbulleh and Director of Research & Advocacy at Common Wealth Miriam Brett. ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Chad Crouch and Poddington Bear, used un

  • Can we avoid a tsunami of job losses?

    22/07/2020 Duration: 35min

    It feels like every day there are new dire predictions of the state of the UK economy and jobs. Last week we discovered that the number of paid employees in Britain has plunged by 650,000 since the start of the pandemic. As the furlough scheme winds down, the Office for Budget Responsibility says 1.4 million furloughed people are at risk of unemployment. And almost a third of companies plan to cut jobs in the next three months. So, did the job retention scheme save jobs or just delay the inevitable? How are unions supporting workers during this time? And what can we do to avoid a tsunami of job losses? In this episode of the Weekly Economics Podcast Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Alfie Stirling, Head of Economics at the NEF and Nikki Pound, Policy and Campaigns Support Officer at the TUC. ----- Researched by Margaret Welsh. Produced by Becky Malone. Music by Jahzzar, used under Creative Commons licence. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The Weekly Economics Podcast is bro

  • Do police and prisons keep us safe?

    14/07/2020 Duration: 37min

    At the end of June Keir Starmer said of Black Lives Matter protesters in an interview: “Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police.” At the same time, the UK government announced four new prisons. Olympic athlete Bianca Williams has said she felt like “being black is a crime” after she was stopped and handcuffed by police while driving in London. And last week it emerged that the Met police carried out 22,000 stop-and-searches on young Black men during lockdown. Some campaigners, especially in the US, are talking about defunding the police. But what does that actually mean? Should campaigners be calling for it in the UK? And do police and prisons really keep us safe? In this episode Ayeisha is joined by Dr. Adam Elliot-Cooper, research associate in sociology at the University of Greenwich and board member of the Monitoring Group. References: Read "Are Prisons Obsolete?" by Angela Y. Davis https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/angela-y-davis-are-prisons-obsolete Find out more about Bla

  • The Hostile Environment during coronavirus

    03/07/2020 Duration: 38min

    The end of June marked the anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush Generation in the UK, and sparked renewed conversations about the Hostile Environment. It’s been reported that UK immigration policies have stopped migrants from getting healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite a government exemption from immigration checks and fees. Just this week, MPs passed a new immigration bill which ends freedom of movement and introduces a point-based system instead. So, how has the Hostile Environment affected people, particularly during the pandemic? Have migrants been hit harder by Covid-19? And what does the new immigration bill mean for migrant communities in the UK? We’re back for a new series of the Weekly Economics Podcast, Ayeisha is joined by Zoe Gardner, Policy Advisor at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), and Akram Salhab, Advocacy and Campaigns Officer at Migrants Organise. Take a look at the New Deal on Migration on the JCWI's website https://www.jcwi.org.uk/news/we-need

  • Gary Younge on the global black liberation uprisings

    17/06/2020 Duration: 43min

    The death of George Floyd three weeks ago at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sparked a fresh wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the world. In the US, calls to defund the police have won victories and across Europe leaders are taking down statues of slave traders and reviewing national school curricula. Here in the UK, hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets, despite government warnings and coronavirus restrictions. So, why has this explosion of protest happened now? Does this mark a new moment in our collective conversation on race, racism and the role of the police? And once this moment of the whirlwind passes, how can protestors make sure we achieve lasting change? For this special one-off episode Ayeisha is joined by Gary Younge, writer, broadcaster, and professor of sociology at the University of Manchester. Read Gary's piece in the New Statesman here: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2020/06/we-cant-breathe Read Nadine El-Enay's piece in openDemocracy here: https://w

  • The future of social care after Coronavirus

    15/05/2020 Duration: 34min

    10,000 care home residents have died from Covid-19, more than a third of all Covid-19 deaths. On Wednesday it was reported that the death toll is likely to be double the official figure. The death rate amongst social care staff is double that of the general working age population. So the big question is; what’s gone wrong with social care? On this episode Ayeisha is joined by Sarah Bedford, head of social policy at NEF, to talk about coronavirus and social care. References in this epsiode: We care workers face a terrible decision: risk people's lives or go without pay. Guardian Opinion, 08/05/20 https://bit.ly/2Lu6HbE Time to Care: A Unison report into homecare. 2012 https://bit.ly/2z217L3 If you’re desperate for more, we’ll be following up this discussion in an online briefing over Zoom on Thursday 21 May. We’ll be talking to Sarah again, as well as Unison Organiser Conor McGurran, Emeritus Professor of Economics at The Open University Sue Himmelweit and Founder of Equal Care Co-op Emma Back. Register

  • How to organise under lockdown

    08/05/2020 Duration: 32min

    Between the lack of PPE for key workers, growing numbers forced onto universal credit, and worries about worker safety both now and after lockdown, there’s plenty to be angry about. So has Covid-19 led to a new wave of organising? What does organising look like under lockdown? How does the boom in mutual aid networks fit into this? And will the demands made during the pandemic lead to lasting change after it’s over? On this episode Ayeisha looks at what lockdown and the pandemic mean for organising with NEF Senior Organiser Becki Winson. If you’re hungry for more, we’ll be following up this discussion in an online briefing over Zoom on Thursday 14 May. We’ll be talking to Becki again, as well as organisers Sarah Jaffe, Vik Chechi-Ribeiro and Minda Burgos-Lukes. Register for your place here https://bit.ly/3djB1Sq Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The award-winning Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation. Find out more at www.neweconomics.org

  • Coronavirus and the legacy of austerity

    01/05/2020 Duration: 25min

    In the last few months we’ve seen the government promise billions in support for people and businesses impacted by coronavirus. Supporters of austerity claim the last decade of cuts is what enabled the government to put money into these schemes now. But is this true? Some of our public services were barely able to cope, even before the virus struck. And so what effect did austerity have on our pandemic preparedness? And now that we’re entering another recession, will the government turn to austerity once again? On this episode Ayeisha looks at Covid-19, austerity, and how we can respond to this crisis differently with NEF senior economist, Frank van Lerven. If you’re craving more chat about this, we’ll be following up this discussion in an online briefing over Zoom on Thursday 7 May. We’ll be talking to Frank again, as well economists Eric Lonergan & Johnna Montgomerie. Register for your place here https://bit.ly/2xt0qK8 Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by

  • Childcare under lockdown

    24/04/2020 Duration: 26min

    The lockdown period has been extended for at least another three weeks. Schools and nurseries remain closed, except to a few children. Many parents are at home trying to balance work with looking after their kids. But some are still being asked to pay for childcare they aren’t using. And some childcare staff are still having to go into work, often for very low pay. What’s gone wrong with childcare? How are key workers and childcare staff managing? And are parents being asked to bail out a broken childcare system? On this episode of the Weekly Economics Podcast, Ayeisha looks at what Covid-19 and lockdown means for childcare with Lucie Stephens. If you’re hungry for more, we’ll be following up this discussion in an online briefing over Zoom on Thursday 30 April. We’ll be talking to Lucie, as well as Christine Berry and Zoe Raven, Chief Executive of Acorn Early Years Foundation. Register for your place here https://bit.ly/3eN1KYW Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The award-winni

  • Renters, homelessness and coronavirus

    17/04/2020 Duration: 26min

    During lockdown, the message everywhere is to stay home. But what should you do, when you don’t have a secure place to live? At the end of last month, the government gave councils 48 hours to house all rough sleepers in their areas. There was also a temporary ban on evictions put in place and a call for landlords to be ‘compassionate’ in their dealings with their tenants. But has the government gone far enough? What else could they do to make sure no one loses their home during the pandemic? And can we really end rough sleeping just like that? To discuss this week, Ayeisha is joined by Joe Beswick, Head of Housing at NEF. If you’re hungry for more on this topic, we’ll be following up this discussion in an online briefing over Zoom on Thursday 23rd April. We’ll be talking to NEF senior research Hanna Wheatley and other experts to be announced. Register for your place on the briefing here https://bit.ly/3ak0g50 Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The award-winning Weekly Economics

  • Fixing the Social Safety Net

    10/04/2020 Duration: 26min

    As nationwide lockdown continues and parts of the economy grind to a halt, the chancellor has announced a package of measures to support people struggling with the economic fallout of coronavirus. But is it enough? Or have 10 years of cuts broken our social security system beyond repair? The Weekly Economics Podcast is back, to dive into the economics of the Covid-19 crisis. This week Ayeisha is joined by Sarah Arnold, NEF’s senior economist. If you’re hungry for more on this topic, we’ll be following up this discussion in an online briefing over Zoom on Thursday 16th April . We’ll be talking to Sarah again and also Caroline Molloy, editor at openDemocracy. Register to join the briefing here https://bit.ly/3eacvV9 Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! The award-winning Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation – the UK’s only people powered think tank. Find out more at www.neweconomics.org

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