According to the Institute for Public Policy Research’s Commission on Economic Justice report called Time for Change: A New Vision for the British Economy, we need a “fundamental reform of the British economy on a scale comparable with the Atlee reforms of the 1940s and the Thatcher revolution of the 1980s.” Like many so-called developed economies around the world, the British economy’s no longer delivering rising earnings for most of the population, and young people today are set to be poorer than their parents. In this Taxcast Extra I speak with Grace Blakeley of the Institute for Public Policy Research on the findings of their report.
we’ve had this massive explosion in inequality…and wealth inequality is actually even starker than income inequality…really very dramatically high, it’s almost as high as the level you see in Russia…over the last 30 years and that relates to a number of underlying broad structural trends in the UK economy, not least what the Tax Justice Network talks about quite a lot, which is the explosion of financial services and the financialisation of the UK’s economy…we find that whilst we have one of the world’s largest financial sectors, that is not financing investment in the wider economy, we actually have one of the lowest levels of investment of any major economy.”
In this podcast we discuss the unequal share of economic benefits, the need for urgent reform of taxation, the power of trade unions, tackling the market dominance of digital companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, the effects of an over-sized financial sector, the Finance Curse and the north-south divide: the UK is apparently ‘the most geographically unbalanced economy in Europe, with 40% of output produced in London and the South East and average incomes in the North West, South West, West Midlands and Wales more than 30% lower than in London’. Finally, we discuss the debate going on at the moment on so-called free markets. – but what does that really mean? And what kind of markets do we really want?
This is a Taxcast Extra extended interview. For our library of monthly Taxcasts (which cover the latest round-up of tax justice news, unique expert analysis and a mini–documentary with a special focus each month) go here. You can find us on iTunes, Stitcher and all sorts of other podcast platforms. We’re also available to all radio broadcasters – so if your favourite station’s not playing us, ask them – why not?