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Weekly Economics Podcast

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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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London, United Kingdom


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.




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 Kate...

Duration: 00:29:27

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 Advocacy...

Duration: 00:21:07

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...

Duration: 00:24:04

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...

Duration: 00:26:59

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...

Duration: 00:26:02


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...

Duration: 00:26:46

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...

Duration: 00:24:55

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...

Duration: 00:27:29

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...

Duration: 00:27:46

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...

Duration: 00:26:23

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...

Duration: 00:28:14

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...

Duration: 00:31:46

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...

Duration: 00:30:46

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...

Duration: 00:28:19

Are Robots Already Stealing Our Jobs?

Politicians and economists have increasingly been talking about the risks of a future where robots make all of our jobs obsolete. But is that future already upon us? And in the meantime, are big companies using technology to create 21st century workhouses with bad conditions and even worse pay? Joining Ayeisha this week are Stefan Baskerville, NEF's Principal Director for Unions and Business, and familiar faces Alice Martin and Annie Quick. — This is the last episode in our current series,...

Duration: 00:28:35

Power and Devolution

The triggering of Article 50 has dominated the news this week, and NEF Chief Executive Marc Stears makes a special guest appearance to give his take on what is in store as the process unfolds. Also on the agenda is devolution. Rachel Laurence and Annie Quick join Laurie Macfarlane to discuss inequality, democracy and the North/South divide. Tune in for all of this, plus our guests' predictions for what lies ahead on the political horizon… — Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and...

Duration: 00:28:14

Solving the Housing Crisis

Britain is in the grips of a full blown housing crisis. Even if you're not struggling to meet your mortgage payments or at the mercy of a dodgy landlord, the UK's debt-fuelled property boom isn't good news for any of us. But guess what? There's a solution! Alice Martin, our resident housing expert, is back with us this week. Tune in for an amazing campaign win on Britain's Land Registry, why now probably isn't the time to be flogging off acres of old hospital sites, and the hottest sport...

Duration: 00:32:51

Article 50

Breaking: Article 50 will be triggered on Wednesday 29 March, kick-starting the formal, two-year process of Britain's departure from the EU. That's what we're talking about this week. How will the negotiations play out? Can we expect big ructions in global financial markets? What will the biggest issues be and how will they be resolved? Tune in for all our regular features and analysis, including the shifting shopping habits of Britain's hipsters... — Enjoying the show? Tweet us your...

Duration: 00:30:21

Budget 2017

Last week was the Spring Budget, and as ever, we had experts from NEF on hand to cast a critical eye over the Chancellor’s announcements. Is the UK’s economic forecast as sunny as Philip Hammond would have us believe? On top of our usual features and analysis, tune in to hear whether our guests are as sartorially clairvoyant as they are economically clued up… — Enjoying the show? Tweet us your comments and questions @NEF! — Produced by James Shield. Programme editor for the New Economics...

Duration: 00:33:07


We're back and kicking off our new series with President Trump - the end of economics as we know it, or Republican business as usual? Our new presenter, Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, is joined by New Economics Foundation regulars Alice Martin, Laurie Macfarlane and Stephen Devlin. As well as Trump, we talk news from the last week and get some expert predictions on the upcoming Budget. Tune in to find out why Mexico might want to nationalise Twitter, and the bad news ahead for Britain's vending...

Duration: 00:28:34

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