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Kirsty Styles chats to James Meadway, Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), to break down all the big issues in macroeconomics in the UK and beyond. New episodes on Mondays.

Kirsty Styles chats to James Meadway, Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), to break down all the big issues in macroeconomics in the UK and beyond. New episodes on Mondays.
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Kirsty Styles chats to James Meadway, Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation (NEF), to break down all the big issues in macroeconomics in the UK and beyond. New episodes on Mondays.




One year on from the Grenfell Tower fire

The fire at Grenfell Tower a year ago last week was, above all, a tragedy for its residents, their friends, and their families. It’s also come to symbolise a deeper crisis in British society – at least in the eyes of many people. On this week's podcast, we’re giving you an update on what we’ve learned since that night; what the inquiry has heard; and the shifting national conversation about Grenfell. Ayeisha Thomas-Smith speaks to Luke Barratt, business reporter at Inside Housing, and Katya...


Does the Windrush scandal signal the end of Britain's 'hostile environment'?

Papers destroyed by the Home Office. Forced out of work. Denied cancer treatment. Held in detention. Deported. Those are just a few of the terrible stories we’ve heard about the treatment of the Windrush generation over the past few months. We’ve had a change of Home Secretary, but will there be a change in policy? The government set up a ‘Windrush taskforce’ in April – but will it right these wrongs? And what does the ‘hostile environment’ policy say about the UK’s difficult relationship...


Universal Basic Income or Universal Basic Services?

Universal basic income – an idea that almost no one had heard of just a few years ago – 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 a utopian impossibility. Others think it’s dangerous. So there’s a proposal for...


What if Russia cuts off our gas?

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...


Can we bring down house prices without crashing the economy?

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...


Is the Bitcoin boom over?

Technology is transforming the world of money. Or at least that’s what the Bitcoin junkies would have you believe. They say digital currencies have arrived and are about to revolutionise the way we buy things. But recent downturns in their prices have led some to wonder whether digital currencies have fuelled a dangerous speculative bubble that needs to be curbed by regulators. Is the Bitcoin boom over? Or was it just the start for digital currencies? This week, Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is...


Budget Special 2017

Chancellor Philip Hammond got out his red box out again last week, to let us know how the country's finances are – or aren't – holding up, and what the Government's going to be doing with its money this year. The headlines were mixed, so what should our take-away be? Will the Chancellor's proposals be enough to make our economy "fit for the future"? And with Brexit looming, is the Government doing enough to deal with the country's economic problems? This week, David Powell is joined by...


Will Brexit boost Britain's fishing industry?

Pro-Brexit campaigners have argued leaving the EU means Britain can "take control" of its fisheries. But what does Brexit really mean for fishing communities, and for the future of our fish stocks? This week, Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Fernanda Balata, Senior Programme Lead for Coastal Economies at the New Economics Foundation, Griffin Carpenter, NEF Senior Researcher, and James Wilson, a mussel farmer in Bangor, North Wales. We also ask NEF Principal Director for Policy and...


Is there a political divide between cities and towns?

A characteristic feature of British society in 2017 is division. Leavers are pitched against Remainers, young against old, graduates against non-graduates. But perhaps the starkest way of understanding social division in the UK is to consider the places where people live. A new report by the New Economics Foundation and Professor Will Jennings shows how electoral divisions have opened up between towns and cities in England. To explore this more, Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is this week joined by...


Will England ban fracking too?

After its recent ban in Scotland, fracking is firmly back on the media and political agendas. But is fracking a necessary economics boost for the country, or an environmental disaster we should avoid at all costs? This week host Ayeisha Thomas-Smith welcomes back NEF’s Environment Lead, David Powell alongside Weekly Economics Podcast newbie Hanna Wheatley, Researcher at NEF. — Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! — Produced by James Shield and Huw Jordan. The...


Did the party conferences have any answers?

We’re in the midst of political party conference season and we've already had more headlines and drama than most years... But apart from politicos and journalists gossiping about party splits, are the party conferences actually offering any answers to the problems this country faces? Lots of the headlines have been about internal disagreements in Labour and the Conservative party, but what have they and the other parties had to say about housing, Brexit, investment, our environment and the...



This week we're bringing you something a bit different - the first episode of a new podcast miniseries from our friends at the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (or CLASS for short). It's called CLASS on Class, and made by the same production team behind the Weekly Economics Podcast. Dr Faiza Shaheen presents an attempt to move past the superficial discussion of class politics we’ve had in Britain since the Brexit vote, featuring an all-star collection of guests. If you enjoyed this...


How do we empower people to take action on climate change?

As large swathes of the Caribbean have been left devastated by Hurricane Irma, the issue of climate change is once again back on the global news agenda. It’s easy to feel defeated when the environmental crises we face are so immediate and huge. But action is urgently needed. In this special edition of the Weekly Economics Podcast (recorded before Irma took place), we explore some of the possible solutions, debate what real action looks like and how those most affected can be the most...


Could selling off public land solve the housing crisis?

The housing crisis is a hot topic at the moment. We often talk about who can buy, sell and rent houses - and how much they cost - but we rarely talk about the land beneath them. Lots of land in the UK is owned by the government and local authorities - public land. But a load of it is being sold off, from old hospitals to sites owned by the Ministry of Defence. The government says that we should sell it to developers to build houses on to deal with the housing shortage. But is that really...


What should the UK's industrial strategy look like?

For years ‘industrial strategy’ wasn’t talked about at all. But the phrase has recently made a comeback. The government thinks there are some ‘long term challenges’ for the economy in this country, and they need to get involved to do something about them. Host Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by NEF's Senior Economist Sara Mahmoud and Will Brett, NEF's Director of News and Media, to discuss exactly what these challenges are, and to address the question: what should the UK’s industrial...


Could personal debt cause another recession?

Personal debt is at record levels with one in six of us at risk of a debt crisis. Credit cards, overdrafts and payday loans are propping up households across the country as wages continue to fall in real terms. And many people are struggling under the pressure of paying back what they owe. But what is the effect on the wider economy? And what should we do about it? Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is back with us this week and is joined by Sarah Lyall, NEF's Social Policy Lead and special guest Dr Jo...


A Beginner's Guide to Brexit

The latest episode of the Weekly Economics Podcast brings you...A Beginner's Guide to Brexit. Stepping in for our host Ayeisha Thomas-Smith this week is producer Huw Jordan, who will be trying to make sense of the 'Great' Repeal Bill and the legal tangle of Britain leaving the EU. He'll be joined by Dave Powell, who leads on NEF's environment work, and special guest Karla Hill, Programme Director at ClientEarth. Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! Produced by...


Can we save the planet despite Trump?

What more does the environment have to do to become an election issue? Joining our host Ayeisha Thomas-Smith this week are Dave Powell, Subject Lead on Environment at the New Economics Foundation, Fernanda Balata, who leads NEF's work on coastal economies and Andrew Pendleton, Principal Director of Policy and Advocacy at NEF to discuss the environment, the election and the prospects for saving our planet. — Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! — Produced by James...


What next for the NHS and social care?

6 out of 10 of us now think the NHS is one of the biggest issues facing Britain - the highest level of concern for 15 years. This week we're joined by Allyson Pollock, Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, Sarah Lyall, Social Policy Lead at the New Economics Foundation and James Shield, who (when he's not producing the Weekly Economics Podcast) is Senior Policy Analyst at Macmillan Cancer Support to discuss the NHS, Social Care and more. — Enjoying the...


Did Economics Swing the Election? With Stephen Bush

Elections are supposed to be won and lost on economics. But in the recent general election here in the UK, interrupted by terrorist attacks in Manchester and London and coming a year after the EU referendum, some people have said that the economy had dropped down the agenda. But is that true? What role did the economy really play in the election and what are the economic consequences of the result? This week we're joined by the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush, NEF’s Principal Director of...