The high street, once a popular choice for shoppers, has faced many changes in recent years. The increase of online shopping is a clear indicator, as 1 in 3 of us will exclusively use the internet to shop this Christmas. Annette Picardo, Managing Director in the UK for Etsy, explains how people are moving towards a more mindful and conscious way of shopping. New independent research finds that people feel happier when supporting their local community and local businesses.
On our podcast this week, Digital Manager Darren Grimes discussed the relationship between capitalism and Christianity with our Senior Academic Fellow Philip Booth and Father Marcus Walker, Rector of St Bartholomew’s Church in London. Following recent, seemingly anti-capitalist, interventions by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, they assessed the extent to which the Church of England can still be considered the “Conservative Party at Prayer”. They also examined the treatment of markets, free exchange and private property in scripture. Finally, they hypothesised that the decline of religion in our society has coincided with the growth of the State, and a growing sense that the government, not private institutions or families, should take responsibility for societal ills.
The New Labour government introduced a national minimum wage (NMW) in 1999. At first this was opposed by the Conservative party, but they have since joined a growing political consensus. The Low Pay Commission (LPC) are tasked with recommending NMW rates that 'help as many low-paid workers as possible without any significant adverse impact on employment or the economy’. The LPC’s apparent success in achieving this, may be one reason for growing political census, so it is perhaps worrying that a National Living Wage (NLW) is being set without these considerations. Len Shackleton, Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham and Editorial and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, sets out these issues and more in a recent IEA paper on Restructuring Minimum Wages. Prof. Shackleton argues that the system has become overly complex and recommendations made by the Taylor Review will only add to this complexity. In this interview we consider his proposals and what the future may hold for UK minimum wages.
Adam Cox talks to Michael Shapiro, Head of Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution at GSC Solicitors LLP, about one of the most visible parts of the legal process: litigation. Michael explains that a lot of litigation comes about as a result of poor planning at the start of a business relationship, and that prevention is much better and cheaper than the cure. He talks about why factors such as ego, stubbornness and revenge can drive a case to court – and why there are much better, and far less risky, ways to seek resolution. Would you take your business to court to prove a point?
In the last of her four discussions with writer and consultant on responsible business Tom Levitt, Linda Lewis probes further into what it means to be a responsible and sustainable business in the 21st century. The two discuss what it is that engages employees within a business setting, the growing phenomenon of “social enterprise”, and how such businesses differ from the mainstream. The role of “purpose” in business is explored; as is the changing nature of investment, which is increasingly being used to support businesses in creating positive social and environmental outcomes. The discussion is further explored from a historical perspective – what can we learn from hindsight that could improve business today?
Adam talks to Anthony Coumbe, Senior Environment Manager for the HS2 – the UK’s largest ever infrastructure project, about why making environmental concerns a priority are so crucial to the process. They discuss how communities have been involved in environmental decisions and how animals, trees and organisms unique to specific towns and areas are being fully considered throughout construction.
New Economics Foundation weekly podcast is back with a hot topic: Environment. In this week podcast Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Dave Powell, head of environment at the New Economics Foundation, and Alice Bell, director at climate charity 10:10 to discuss one of the most fashionable economic ideas of the past decade: The idea that a little prod from government can encourage us to change our behaviour and be better citizens, maybe without even realising it. Meanwhile, good old-fashioned regulation seems to have been decidedly out of favour with recent governments – and leaving the market to just do its thing isn’t all that popular with campaigners.
When it comes to the environment, do all of these approaches have their place? What works best? And are there better or worse ways to make sure our economy doesn’t wreck the planet?
Adam talks to author and coach Fadela Hilali about the increasing prevalence of emotional eating and how we can be trapped in a desperate cycle of emotional pain which leads to binge eating and guilt. Fadela provides practical insight into how to move from eating to deal with stress, anxiety and unhappiness to a life where you feel so good about yourself that there’s no room for cake!
Adam Cox leads a discussion into whether banks actually meet our psychological and emotional needs. Banking has experienced a shake-up, a rapid evolution since the credit crunch, and open banking is set to enhance that even more. Will modern banks tap into our human needs? Joining the show to further discuss these questions and more is Rich Wagner, CEO of Cashplus, one of the newest banks entering the UK market.
In this weeks Inside Business we discuss the recent HSBC allegations, as the National Crime Agency and the Serious Fraud Office look to investigate HSBC's recent dealings with the Gupta Family in South Africa. We spoke with Lord Peter Hain of Neath who took these accusations to the House of Lords and also we spoke with vocal anti corruption whistle blower Nicholas Wilson about other HSBC related investigations.
As always we finish the show with a word from a regular commentator BBC World Service Reporter Howard Mustoe.