The Bank of England has moved interest rates to their highest level in almost a decade. If you’ve got a mortgage, it might get more expensive. If you’ve got savings, you might get a bit more interest on your money. Does this tell us anything about what the Bank of England thinks is going to happen to the economy? And was it the right decision?
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith speaks to Alfie Stirling, head of economics at the New Economics Foundation.
Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump; Erdogan in Turkey and the Five Star Movement in Italy; Podemos in Spain and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. All of them have been described as populists. But what does ‘populism’ actually mean? How can it include people with wildly different ideologies under the same umbrella? Is it possible to be a progressive populist – and even if it is, should progressives use that label? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by academic and writer Eliane Glaser, and Michael Walker from Novara Media.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Eliane Glaser, Michael Walker
There are troubling signs that the new data-driven economy is inheriting all the same problems as the old one: power imbalances, monopolies and a lack of accountability. How gloomy should we be? Will technology inevitably lead us to a digital dystopia? Or could there be a whole range of potential futures, some of them shiny and welcoming, others dark and scary? Hanna Wheatley is joined by New Economics Foundation researcher Duncan McCann, and Carl Miller, research director for the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos. The award-winning Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation.
In between the resignations and the reshuffles, what have we learned about where Brexit will go next? Much of the focus has been on the response to the deal the prime minister reached with her cabinet at Chequers, but what was in the deal itself? How practical is the government’s position on Brexit? And what are the alternatives? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Marley Morris, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Andrew Pendleton, NEF’s director of policy and advocacy.
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, Marley Morris, Andrew Pendleton
Happy birthday, NHS! That was the message from the prime minister, as she announced an extra £20bn of funding for the NHS in England by 2023. But is that enough? And where will the money come from? There’s been talk of a ‘Brexit dividend’ – does that mean the infamous battle bus promise has come true? Or will some of us have to pay more tax to keep our NHS on life support? And whatever happened to fixing our broken social care system?
This week, Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Sarah Bedford, head of social policy at the New Economics Foundation, and Andy Cowper, comment editor of the Health Service Journal.
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?
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.
A nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury has led to a retaliation by the UK government – expelling diplomats and ramping up a war of words. With Putin winning another huge election victory last week, some people are worried that we’re entering a new Cold War. Meanwhile, UK gas supplies have run low thanks to the recent winter freeze. What if Russia were to switch off our gas? Has it done it to other countries? And how would we get by? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Dave Powell, who leads on the environment for NEF, and Dustin Benton, policy director for the environmental think tank Green Alliance.
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.
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.