Universal basic income is now one of the most fashionable concepts in progressive politics. With automation increasing and wages stagnating, the theory is that giving everyone a set amount of money each year will liberate them to do what they want with their lives – and keep them out of poverty. But some people think universal basic income is an utopian impossibility. Others think it’s dangerous. So there’s a proposal for another solution: universal basic services. Instead of giving people money, why not guarantee all of the public services they need to live a full life? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith explores the two ideas with Barb Jacobson, Co-ordinator of Basic Income UK, and Anna Coote, New Economics Foundation Principal Fellow.
Building up a pension was once relatively simple, for each year you worked for a company it promised to pay you some money in retirement. The death of the final salary scheme put paid to that and now most people must invest into a pension instead - with their work helping out. But while it is tempting to put off a pension and think you have more pressing financial matters to deal with, that's a mistake.
The earlier you start and the more you pay in, the greater your chance of having a richer retirement. On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost talk pensions.
In the first of this new series, Policy Matters, Franz Buscha and Matt Dickson discuss social mobility – what does it mean, how do we measure it, what is it like in the UK and why is it an important issue?
From Tony Blair to Theresa May, incoming prime ministers have talked boldly about the socially mobile Britain that their government will create, and social mobility has become a much-discussed topic in academia and public policy debates. But what would it mean to have a more socially mobile Britain, how could it be achieved, and what barriers stand in the way? Taking a broad overview of the topic, Franz and Matt consider their own personal mobility and why it is so difficult for the political rhetoric to be translated into effective policy.
Exactly one year from today, Britain will officially quit the EU. But what do we know so far, and what happens next?
Today joined by Julian Jessop, Head of the IEA’s Brexit Unit, and Shanker Singham, Director of the IEA’s new International Trade and Competition Unit. Interviewed by Digital Officer Madeline Grant, the pair answer some of the most pressing questions about Brexit – including what, if anything, we’ve managed to negotiate so far, how our economy has fared until now, the future of the Irish border, and whether there is any chance of Brexit being overturned.
It’s one of the biggest contradictions in British politics. Across the country, baby boomers who own a house cheer as the value of their property rises. Meanwhile their millennial children watch on in horror, as owning their own home increasingly falls out of their reach.
Politicians talk about building more homes but very few of them talk about directly reducing house prices. If house prices are too high for people to be able to buy houses, how can we bring them down? And can we do it without upsetting homeowners and crashing the economy? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Joe Beswick, who leads on housing for the New Economics Foundation, and housing campaigner Beth Stratford, a PhD researcher at the University of Leeds.
It’s not long before the door slams shut on your chance to use this year’s Isa allowance. It’s always best not to leave Isa saving or investing until the last month of the tax year, but many of us will do so. So, here is our special Isa podcast – with a comfortable three weeks to spare before the 5 April tax year end. In it, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost dive into everything you need to know about Isas, from cash, to stocks and shares, and Innovative to Lifetime.
It also looks at why investing is the best way to get inflation-beating returns over the long term, how savers can eke some precious extra interest from accounts, and why an Isa is worth having.
In the latest instalment of our podcast series, Live From Lord North Street, News Editor Kate Andrews discusses trade arrangements and customs unions post-Brexit with Shanker Singham, who is joining the IEA as the director of our new International Trade and Competition unit. The pair examine Theresa May’s recent speech – one of six in a series dubbed the ‘Road to Brexit’ – in which the PM set out five key tests with which to judge an eventual deal with the EU. They also examine the future of regulation outside of the European Union, and potential alternatives to full regulatory alignment.
Universities up and down the country have been shutting down as lecturers have walked out, arguing that the changes to their pension schemes could leave them thousands of pounds a year worse off in retirement. So this week we’re breaking down what the university strikes are all about, and what they tell us about everyone else’s pensions too.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith speaks to two striking lecturers: Nadine El-Enany, co-director of the Centre for Research on Race and Law at Birkbeck, and SOAS Senate chair Meera Sabaratnam. They are joined by writer and researcher Christine Berry, who is also a postgraduate student at Sheffield University.
We have a housing crisis. That’s the message, loud and clear, and it was reiterated by the Prime Minister this week. What’s the answer? Build more homes. Or is it? Because once you start digging into the subject, this housing crisis is a pretty ill-defined problem - and it’s not clear that a lack of homes is causing the problem of too high house prices.
Many people suspect that actually it’s too much cheap money that made homes so expensive.
On this week’s podcast episode, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost get stuck into the housing crisis. They look at what the problem is meant to be, what made homes so expensive, what the plans are to solve the issue, and whether building more homes will make house prices cheaper.