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Weekly Economics Podcast

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Award-winning podcast about the economic forces shaping our world, with Ayeisha Thomas-Smith and guests. Brought to you by the New Economics Foundation – the independent think tank and charity campaigning for a fairer, sustainable economy. New episodes on Mondays.
168 Episodes
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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. Music this week is by Chad Crouch and Poddington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by Jahzzar, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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 Black Visions Collective https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/ Read the report "Race and Racism in English Secondary Schools" by Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury https://www.runnymedetrust.org/projects-and-publications/education/racism-in-secondary-schools.html Find out more about United Family and Friends Campaign https://uffcampaign.org/ Visit Community Actions on Prison Expansion's website for more info https://cape-campaign.org/ Go to https://movementforjustice.co.uk/ for more on Movement for Justice You can learn more about JENGbA's work at https://jointenterprise.co/ Cradle Community are fundraising for healing and transformative justice work in the UK. If you donate, you can get an abolitionist package including their new zine "how to be an abolitionist today". More info here https://www.instagram.com/p/CCa1VtVhZXK/?igshid=hgtrn7bhwlc4 Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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-a-new-deal-on-migration Read new research from Migrants Organise, Medact and NEF looking at how the Hostile Environment is preventing migrants accessing healthcare during the pandemic https://bit.ly/38ooewJ More from Migrants Organise on their website https://www.migrantsorganise.org/ Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/calls-to-make-britain-great-again-are-drawing-on-pseudo-intellectual-defences-of-/ Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by Chris Zabriskie, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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 for your place here: https://bit.ly/3bBnEvE That’s it for this series but we’ll be back very soon with more. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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! Music this week by Candlegravity and Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. The award-winning Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation. Find out more at www.neweconomics.org
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 A. A. Aalto and Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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! Music this week is by The Polish Ambassador and Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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! Music this week is by Blue Dot Sessions and Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
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! Music this week is by Podington Bear, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
Last week, the big red briefcase was handed over to new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. But many of Sunak’s Budget promises were overshadowed by new measures to deal with the coronavirus. With the stock market hitting a four-year low, the outbreak is pushing us towards recession. So what do we know about the government’s economic plans? Are they doing enough to avoid a recession? And in focusing on coronavirus, what other crises are they ignoring? In this special episode, recorded shortly after the Budget, Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Alfie Stirling, NEF’s Head of Economics, and Carys Roberts, Executive Director of IPPR. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by Chad Crouch, used under Creative Commons licence. 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
Election 2019

Election 2019

2019-12-0255:03

The election is just around the corner and the outcome will determine the future of the country, and the shape of the economy. So what are the parties planning to do if they win power? How radical are their policies? And what are the differences in their economic agenda? For our last episode of 2019 Ayeisha is joined by Anoosh Chakelian, Britain Editor of the New Statesman and co-host of the excellent New Statesman podcast, and Miatta Fahnbulleh, chief executive of the New Economics Foundation. 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
The childcare system in England is broken. Our nurseries are among the most expensive in the world, but our childcare professionals are some of the lowest paid workers in society. For a long time, government policy on childcare has been badly thought out and severely underfunded. More recently, big international chains have moved into the sector. So, what should be done? How would we fix the childcare system? And what would it mean for families, and for the country, if we finally got it right? This week Ayeisha is joined by Helen Penn, Visiting Professor at the UCL Institute of Education, Amy Martin, Creative Director of Impact Hub Birmingham, and Lucie Stephens, Head of Co-production at NEF. ALSO: Last chance to register to vote! Register by 11.59pm on Tuesday 26 November: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Register if you haven’t got a fixed or permanent address: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-to-vote-if-you-havent-got-a-fixed-or-permanent-address
Our public services are in dire need of investment. The question of how much investment has loomed large over the first weeks of the election campaign. But in the middle of a debate over competing spending plans, isn’t it also time to ask what we want our public services to actually do for us? That’s the view of group of economists and campaigners who are pushing for something called ‘Universal Basic Services’ – a radical expansion of high-quality public services for all to areas like transport, childcare and social care. More than 70 years after the creation of the welfare state and the NHS, is it time to reimagine the public services we should all expect? Ayeisha is joined by NEF Principal Fellow Anna Coote and openDemocracy Economics Editor Laurie Macfarlane.
How did the word immigrant become such a loaded term? How did the public conversation about immigration become so toxic? And is there another way forward – an alternative to the hostile environment? This week we're at SOAS, part of the University of London, with a live audience and Maya Goodfellow, author of the new book, ‘Hostile Environment: How immigrants became scapegoats’. https://www.versobooks.com/books/3064-hostile-environment 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
We're away this week recording our exciting live event with Maya Goodfellow for the podcast next week. In the meantime we're listening back to a live episode we recorded in April. Safiya Umoja Noble is an associate professor at UCLA and author of Algorithms of Oppression: How Algorithms Reinforce Racism. She joined Kirsty Styles for a revealing look at how all kinds of negative biases are embedded in the algorithms that increasingly shape our world. If you want to find out more about this topic, check out: Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression nyupress.org/9781479837243/algo…hms-of-oppression/ Safiya Umoja Noble, Social Inequality Will not be Solved by an app www.wired.com/story/social-inequ…-solved-by-an-app/ Sarah Roberts, Behind the Screen yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300235…3/behind-screen Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/shos…1610395694/ Content warning: in this episode there is discussion of sexual content and pornography that some listeners might find offensive. 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
Some common lines you’ll hear about the economy: we all put money in, or take it out. Some people pay their fair share, but others don’t. We can’t overspend – putting public spending on the national credit card would be irresponsible. But not all of those lines are strictly true and the way we talk about the economy affects the way we think about its future. This week on the podcast: what we’re really talking about when we talk about the economy. Ayeisha is joined by Anat Shenker-Osorio – communications expert, researcher and author of ‘Don’t Buy It: the trouble with talking nonsense about the economy’, and Ellie Mae O’Hagan – journalist and author of the forthcoming book on the collapse of the centre ground. Check out Anat's Brave New Words podcast at https://bravenewwordspod.com You can find the Framing the Economy report at https://neweconomics.org/2018/02/framing-the-economy-2 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
It’s one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. But unlike the phone, the car, computers and indoor plumbing, the weekend is still stuck in the 1930s. As productivity increased, the promise of shorter working hours always seemed just out of reach. But now, there’s a campaign to make the 4-day week a reality within our lifetimes. Obviously many people would love to work less. But what would it mean for the economy? And what would it take to make it a reality? Back for a brand new series, Ayeisha is joined by Alfie Stirling, Head of Economics and Aidan Harper, Researcher at the New Economics Foundation. 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
The rent is too high

The rent is too high

2019-08-1432:11

More and more of us are renting for longer – not by choice, but by necessity. In cities especially, more people are renting into their thirties, forties and beyond, sometimes raising children in rented flats with no long-term security. But what if we could do something about it? Could rent controls be the answer? With Hanna Wheatley and Eva Freeman. Donate to the New Economics Foundation: https://neweconomics.org/donate Rent controls report: https://neweconomics.org/2019/07/rent-control Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Music this week is by Chris Zabriskie and Podington Bear. 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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Comments (3)

Miroslav

hi guys

Jan 6th
Reply (1)

Richard Evans

The level of unreality by the guests is laughable. Any country that tried this would be bankrupt within 5 years

Jan 9th
Reply
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