IFS Zooms In: The Economy
When and why should we care about inequality?
We see inequalities all the time, whether at the school gates, the hospital, when travelling round the country and definitely when turning on the news.
But why should we care about inequality? What has happened to inequality over recent decades? And can government do anything about it?
We speak to Professor Sir Angus Deaton, an economist who is an expert on inequality and leads the IFS-Deaton Review, Debra Satz, a philosopher and Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, and Robert Joyce, Deputy Director at IFS and panel member of the IFS-Deaton Review.
Find out more: https://ifs.org.uk/inequality/
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28. The Autumn Statement explained30:53This week, the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement. After weeks of speculation about headroom, tax cuts and pre-election giveaways, the dye is cast and the policies are in.What was in it? What will the impact of his announcements be? And how sensible were the policies announced?Joining us today are Helen Miller, Head of Tax at IFS, Ben Zaranko, Senior Research economist and Tom Waters, Senior Research economist at IFS.Find out more: https://ifs.org.uk/Become a member: https://ifs.org.uk/individual-membership
27. Cake or biscuit? The UK's byzantine VAT system explained33:45From jaffa cakes and gingerbread men, to fur skin coats and children's clothes, our VAT system and its byzantine rules seem, on the surface, to be a fun quirk of the UK tax system.But dig deeper, and one finds economic distortions and inefficiencies due to the complex way the UK's third largest tax is levied.Leading us through this maze of complexity are Helen Miller, Deputy Director and IFS tax expert, and Dan Neidle, a tax lawyer and founder of Tax Policy Associates.
26. The Expert Factor: What next for Net Zero?33:34Climate change used to be that rarest of things in British politics – an issue over which there was broad interparty consensus. That consensus saw Ed Miliband oversee the passing of the Climate Change Act in 2008, committing the UK to an 80 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; Theresa May enshrining of the target of net zero in law; and Boris Johnson going further still, increasing the target for 2030 reductions to 68%.But recently we have seen a divergence from this consensus, with Rishi Sunak pushing back the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030 to 2035.In this episode, the Experts team drill down into this changing landscape. What do voters think about Sunak’s changes? How is Labour going to respond? What are the key steps to achieving net zero? And what are the economic costs involved?
25. The Expert Factor: What can be done to fix standards in public life?41:39Do you remember when politics was the domain of good chaps and a time when politicians could be trusted to stick to the rules? Ok, so maybe there was never quite such a rose-tinted age – but from lobbying scandals to accusations of minsters bullying their staff, standards in politics seem to have been slipping in recent years.So this week the Expert Factor team take a deep dive into standards and ethics in public life – and how they are meant to be uphold. Why have standards been on the slide? Have the good chaps left the political scene for good? What could Rishi Sunak or Keir Starmer do to fix the problem? And do the voters really care?A general election is looming. Manifestos are being drafted. The battle of ideas is intensifying. From tackling climate change to turning around the economy, rethinking Britain’s place in the world to restoring trust in politics, the UK is facing huge challenges. So how can we make sense of it all?THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come.Produced by Milo Hynes and Podmasters.
24. The Expert Factor: Why is the UK so bad at infrastructure?31:57From HS2 cancellations to Heathrow’s still unbuilt third runway, the over-budget Elizabeth line to the repeated delays to the Hinkley C nuclear reactor, why is the UK so bad at infrastructure projects? This week the Expert Factor team – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – take a deep dive into what goes wrong when the UK wants to build big things. How did the costs for HS2 get so high? Is there the right level of government expertise to see through big infrastructure projects? Does the UK have a bigger NIMBY problem than other countries? And what could be done to learn from past mistakes?
23. The Expert Factor: Is there any money left?40:42Rising inflation, a cost of living crisis, striking public sector workers, the NHS facing another winter crisis… costs on the public purse are spiralling and government borrowing is being pushed still higher.So is it true to say there is no more money left?This week the Expert Factor team take a deep dive into the state of Britain’s public finances. What would it mean if we stick to current tax and spend policies? What choices are facing this country’s politicians and its public services? What does the country expect its governments to deliver – and how does it expect it to be paid for? And what did we learn from the Labour and Conservative conferences about the two parties’ plans for the economy?
22. The economic picture facing the Chancellor44:47On the 22nd November, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will give his Autumn Statement. He will update MPs on the country's finances and the government's plans for tax and public spending, based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.In this episode, we speak to Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director at IFS and Ben Nabarro, Chief UK Economist at Citigroup, about the underlying economic situation facing the Chancellor.
21. An honest conversation about net zero43:36Recently, Rishi Sunak announced significant changes to the UK's net zero pathway. A ban on the sale of combustion engines has been pushed back to 2035, instead of a 100% phase out of gas boilers by 2035, this has been changed to 80%, and he’s scrapped energy efficiency targets for homes.What is the impact of the announcement? Who will it affect? How will it alter the UK's path to net zero?Joining us today is Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Climate Change Committee, an independent, statutory body which advises the government on climate change. Paul was until this year also a member of the CCC.Find out more: www.ifs.org.uk/podcast
20. The Expert Factor: What is Britain’s place in the world?34:20Some politicians are keen to talk up global Britain. Others boast that the UK is world leader in, well, just about everything. But some say this is a country in non-stop decline. So what’s the true story?This week the Expert Factor team take a deep dive into Britain’s place in the world. How do other countries view the UK after a tumultuous time in Westminster? What is the state of the UK’s post-pandemic economy compared to other countries? Just how special is the ‘special’ relationship with the US? And what is the true story about what Brexit has meant for the UK? Hannah White, Paul Johnson and Anand Menon ask the tricky questions – and come up with the expert answers.A general election is looming. Manifestos are being drafted. The battle of ideas is intensifying. From tackling climate change to turning around the economy, rethinking Britain’s place in the world to restoring trust in politics, the UK is facing huge challenges. So how can we make sense of it all?THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week we the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come.• Institute Fiscal Studies: https://ifs.org.uk/• Institute for Government: https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/• UK in a Changing Europe: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/Written and presented by Paul Johnson, Hannah White and Anand Menon. Audio production by Alex Rees for Podmasters.