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We Need To Talk

Author: Economy

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Throughout this crisis we're exploring every day topics that affect us all, from business and housing to health, food, jobs, government spending, and debt, and we’ll use these topics as a way to demystify economics and the economy. For more, check out www.ecnmy.org.
10 Episodes
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Covid-19 & communities

Covid-19 & communities

2020-07-2939:01

Over lockdown, we’ve seen informal community support groups spring into action; thousands of people coming together to offer their help to deliver food, collect medical prescriptions and provide shopping assistance to some of the most vulnerable people across the UK. Universities, town halls and places of worship have become sites of support, as well as sporadic online mutual aid groups.In this episode, we explore the changing role of communities in our lives and economies, and find out how their structures and the way they function affects the communities they serve. What does this mean for civic responsibility. Should communities be burdened with what some might say are the responsibilities of government, or is this community spirit a good thing?In conversation with our host Clare Birkett is Karen Cheney, Head of Service for Birmingham Council's Neighbourhood Development and Support Unit, Simon Kaye, Senior Policy Researcher at the New Local Government Network, and Jasmine Lowe, a London resident who has been involved in community efforts during this crisis through the Muslim Welfare House. 
Covid-19 & business

Covid-19 & business

2020-07-1040:31

We’re approaching our 12th week of lockdown and we still don’t know if and when we can expect things to get back to ‘business as usual’. And talking of business, many businesses have seen a big hit to their profits during this period. Some have accessed government support through the furlough scheme, but perhaps less talked about so far is the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, a Bank of England fund that provides companies with money to help them stay in business. Tottenham Hotspur, Westfield shopping centre in London, and the German chemical firm Bayer have all received bailouts from the fund, and according to research from Positive Money, as of June 3 firms are borrowing £16.186bn from the fund, with the central bank giving the go-ahead for a total of £67.7bn so far. We’re here today to get a clearer picture of what covid-19 has meant for businesses, including finding out more about these bailouts, what the impacts of them will be, and in whose interests they are. Joining our host Clare Birkett is Fran Boait, Executive Director of Positive Money, a non-profit think tank that campaigns for systemic change of the money and banking system to support a fair, sustainable, and democratic economy. In conversation with Fran is Sam Dumitriu, Research Director at the Entrepreneurs Network.
In a matter of months, the world has been transformed. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives, fallen ill or have lost someone that has succumbed to Covid-19. Places of industry, commerce & trade have become deserted. The UK’s pubs, shops & even public toilets have been closed & the aviation industry has been grounded globally, and many countries have even banned the consumption of wild animals. These are things that would have seemed unthinkable before the pandemic. Civilisation’s sudden halt has had a considerable impact on our environment. Fish are now visible from the surface of the canals in Venice, big polluters have been dealt big blows to their profits and global CO2 emissions have dropped from 4-7%.Many, and not only environmentalists, are seeing these environmental benefits of the crisis as some kind of silver lining, but do these silver linings come at a price? Is all that glitters gold? We’re here today to explore this further, with our guests Amanda Janoo, Lola Fayokun. 
In this episode, we are joined by three brilliant guests to try to understand the effects of COVID-19 on our mental health, and particularly on that of young people. A recent study by the ONS posits that 84 percent of people were worried about the effect the virus is having on their life, while 53 percent said the crisis was affecting their well-being. To quote the most recent issue of the Lancet Psychiatry Journal “Increased social isolation, loneliness, health anxiety, stress, and an economic downturn are a perfect storm to harm people’s mental health and wellbeing.”   Our guests are; Jeremy Sachs is a mental health expert who has a special interest in supporting survivors of trauma as well as adolescent health. Lucy-Paige Willingham is 18 and from London. She has been involved with helping young people with their mental health for 4 years and been an advocate for youth politics for 5 years. Sarah Doherty is a 23-year-old multimedia entrepreneur, who is also the youth leader for a mental health network focusing on children and young people's mental health in a digital world.
Covid-19 & jobs

Covid-19 & jobs

2020-06-0925:51

We’re two months into this pandemic. Not only has Covid-19 affected our physical & mental well being, but the pandemic has turned our jobs market upside down. Some industries have been hit harder than others, for instance, the live entertainment sector has essentially collapsed, whereas DIY & home improvement retailers are doing extremely well. Similarly, while many people have lost their incomes & financial security, we’re seeing an increase in Billionaires: Jeff Bezos- Amazon’s CEO is even on his way to becoming the first trillionaire. We’re here today to try our best to understand what the advent of this current global pandemic means for the working lives of everyday people.
It’s expected that the UK government will have to spend £104 billion this year alone to prop up the economy, and it’s being reported that it’s already thinking about paying for the coronavirus bill through wage freezes and tax increases. We’re here to discuss where the money’s coming from to pay for costs now, the options our governments have to deal with the inevitable debt & who will ultimately have to pay for it. We’re joined by economist John Weeks author of the 'Debt Delusion'.
Covid-19 & health care

Covid-19 & health care

2020-05-1426:04

Over recent weeks we’ve heard stories about doctors in the UK having to choose who they save during this crisis, and shockingly, it’s been reported that the UK has the highest death toll from COVID in Europe to date. In today’s episode, we’ll be discussing how well the NHS is handling the COVID-19 crisis, what role healthcare funding has played in this response, and whether the current moment of crisis might present an opportunity for changes to our healthcare system. Covid-19 has shown us how quickly & drastically things can change. GP appointments have been replaced with video & telephone consultations, online prescriptions have increased by 97%, & pockets of ordinary citizens are pulling together to support NHS staff. We’re joined by Mariane Roesdahl, who is one of those very citizens. She has downed tools at her shop Camden Costumes to help run the North and East London branch of For the Love of Scrubs, a group of ordinary people who have come together to make scrubs and laundry bags etc. for hospitals and other healthcare providers. Joining Mariane is Sonia Adesara, a medical doctor, and campaigner for migrants rights, gender equality, and reproductive health. She has an interest in health policy, and is a former National Medical director clinical fellow.
Covid-19 & housing

Covid-19 & housing

2020-05-0731:27

Many people were struggling to make ends before the pandemic. The lockdown has only exacerbated this issue. We have seen people in precarious work and without a financial safety net fall into debt and rent arrears, with some landlords unsympathetic. We want to explore what level of housing quality is a ‘right’ and cannot be tied to an individual's socioeconomic status, and whether that minimum should or will change because of this pandemic. This week we are joined by Debbie Green (Coastal Housing Association), Rachael Evans (Tenants Union) & Isaac Henry (Greater Manchester Housing Association). Join the conversation by using the hashtags #weneedtotalk & #covidinequality
Covid-19 & BAME Lives

Covid-19 & BAME Lives

2020-04-3030:22

This week we are joined by Nimo Omer (Gal-Dem), Joseph Oyegoke (Black Economists Network), Henna Shah (#Charitysowhite) and Shirley May (Young Identity) to discuss how Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting black, Asian and minority ethnic people and what economic factors are at play. 
Each week over the next 12 weeks we’ll explore every day topics that affect us all, from business and housing to health, food, jobs, government spending, and debt, as a way to demystify economics and the economy. This week, we will be discussing how the economic impacts of Covid-19 will affect men & women differently. Joining the Economy team this week is Mary-Ann Stevenson from the Women's Budget Group. Join the conversation by using the hashtags #weneedtotalk & #covidinequality
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