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Introducing the new chief executive of NEF

8 days ago

Podcasts
Introducing the new chief executive of NEF
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith is joined by Danny Sriskandarajah

By
Ayeisha Thomas-Smith
13 February 2024

It’s 2024 and in Westminster an election is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Step back a little further and across the UK millions of us are more concerned with how we’ll afford to pay their sky-high rent or energy bills. Zoom out further again and we see a world where billions of people are reckoning with the threat of the climate crisis.
For the first episode in a new series of the New

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Labour should learn that every fiscal rule is a political choice

13 days ago

Blog
Labour should learn that every fiscal rule is a political choice
Rather than experiment with another round of austerity, Rachel Reeves should commit to investing in our economy.

By
Lydia Prieg
08 February 2024

After months of speculation, Labour has finally caved to pressure and ditched its flagship £28bn green investment pledge, and thrown plans to insulate 19m homes by 2030 into doubt. £28bn is the amount that we identified at NEF needed to lower emissions and create an economy that improves lives, through things like wind and solar

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A lost decade for home insulation

15 days ago

Blog
A lost decade for home insulation
We installed over 2m insulation measures in our homes in 2012. For the last few years, it’s been just a tenth of this.

By
Christian Jaccarini
06 February 2024

We’re in the midst of yet another winter where people are agonising over whether they can afford to turn on their heating. The UK has some of the leakiest homes in Western Europe, losing heat three times faster than some of our neighbours. This means we have to pay more to heat our homes to a decent level, or risk the health problems that can come

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There are other ways to tackle the cost of living crisis – just ask France and Spain

January 19, 2024

Blog
There are other ways to tackle the cost of living crisis — just ask France and Spain
From rent caps to free public transport, here are the French and Spanish policies our government should be looking at

By
Paulo Yunda
19 January 2024

New figures out this week showed inflation increasing again to 4%. Inflation figures have ticked up — but even when they are dropping, any inflation number above zero means prices are still getting higher. Following last year’s autumn statement, the poorest households will be £200 a week short of an acceptable

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New Year’s greetings from NEF’s new chief executive

January 16, 2024

Blog
New Year’s greetings from NEF’s new chief executive
This year marks 40 years since The Other Economic Summit was held, which led to the creation of NEF

By
Danny Sriskandarajah
16 January 2024

I am thrilled to have started this year as the new chief executive of the New Economics Foundation (NEF). This is an organisation that I have long admired, especially for the fantastic work that my predecessor, Miatta Fahnbulleh, led in her time here. From analysing the autumn budget, to reimagining how energy bills should work and building power in

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A New Year’s Resolution for our politicians? Rethinking government debt and borrowing rules

January 3, 2024

Blog
A New Year’s Resolution for our politicians? Rethinking government debt and borrowing rules
We can’t have a healthy climate or thriving public services without rethinking our fiscal rules

By
Dominic Caddick
03 January 2024

As we enter 2024, we begin the season of setting new rules and resolutions for our lives. We also enter the biggest election year in history, including major elections in the EU and UK. If politicians vying for parliamentary power are looking for a new year’s resolution, they should commit to loosening up government debt

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10 highlights for NEF in 2023

December 22, 2023

Blog
10 highlights for NEF in 2023
Celebrating the progress we’ve made this year

22 December 2023

With rising bills and rising temperatures, 2023 was a year of two crises: the cost of living and climate. Whether you’re struggling to afford your mortgage, or stuck in a cold, damp rental, most of us are feeling the effects of our broken economic model. The current government has so far been reluctant to commit to the changes needed to address the huge challenges we face. With an election on the horizon, this year NEF has been working on developing radical solutions and advocating for them to

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What’s next for climate efforts in 2024?

December 20, 2023

Blog
What’s next for climate efforts in 2024?
A look at Brazil’s role at COP28 and why it matters for an election year in the UK.

By
Fernanda Balata
20 December 2023

At this year’s global climate summit, there were many contradictions on show, but one has been kept under the radar. Brazil has recently made a massive comeback onto the international stage, promising to be a climate leader of the Global South, but at COP28 in Dubai, the South American nation sent mixed signals.
At the opening session, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio da Silva,

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NEF review of the year 2023

December 18, 2023

Publications
NEF review of the year 2023
Highlights from the last 12 months

18 December 2023

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As the planet burns, the ongoing cost of living emergency must not be used as a smokescreen to row back from net zero. We are already seeing worrying signs of this, despite the palpable visibility of the impact of climate change on communities at home and abroad. NEF is leading the way in demonstrating how we can transition fairly, ensuring those organisations and people that can most afford to pay the costs of reaching net zero

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Levelling down

December 11, 2023

Blog
Levelling down
This government’s levelling-up project has failed: households are down £1300 a year since 2015.

By
Dominic Caddick
11 December 2023

The UK has some of the highest inequality between different regions in the OECD. Successive prime ministers have promised to rectify this. But analysis we’ve conducted at NEF has found that, when it comes to regional inequality, we’re moving backwards. And it’s families in the north of England who have been hit hardest, losing over £1300 in yearly income since 2015.
To understand how regions

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Meeting needs within limits

December 6, 2023

Publications
Meeting needs within limits
The ecological case for universal basic services

By
Anna Coote
06 December 2023

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Universal basic services (UBS) aims for universal access to life’s essentials within planetary boundaries. Ecological sustainability is built into its purpose and design. It is not a social ​‘add-on’, but indispensable for achieving environmental goals. This briefing summarises its proposals, then details how it can play a key role in protecting

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COP28: Tackling health inequalities must be at the centre of climate action

December 1, 2023

Blog
COP28: Tackling health inequalities must be at the centre of climate action
Why the first-ever COP Health Day should aim for health equity and enshrine the principle and goal of a fair transition

By
Fernanda Balata
01 December 2023

The main international climate conference, which brings together world leaders, campaigners, business and media annually, got off to a promising start this week. COP28 has finally set up the hard-fought-for loss and damage fund – to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries pay for the irreversible

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The windfall tax was supposed to rein in fossil fuel profits. Instead it has saved corporations billions

November 28, 2023

Blog
The windfall tax was supposed to rein in fossil fuel profits. Instead it has saved corporations billions
Loophole in energy profits levy will hand oil and gas companies up to £18bn over next three years

By
Alex Chapman
28 November 2023

Last week the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) released new data which highlights how little this government’s ​‘windfall tax’ has actually done to rein in the profits of fossil fuel companies.
Back in May 2022, the UK government announced the energy profits levy, as a response to the growing pressure

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Reforming property tax

November 23, 2023

Publications
Reforming property tax
Dampening further property speculation in the housing crisis

By
Alex Diner, Sam Tims
23 November 2023

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In conjunction with the Homes for Us alliance of grassroots organisations and campaigners, the New Economics Foundation is developing policies to fix England’s broken housing model. Tax reform is an important tool to do so. It can close loopholes, raise revenue to invest in more social homes, and shape

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A fair start for all

November 20, 2023

Publications
A fair start for all
A universal basic services approach to early childhood education and care

By
Tom Pollard, Anna Coote, Jeevun Sandher, Tom Stephens, Harry Ewart-Biggs
20 November 2023

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The government’s plan to expand the number of ​‘free hours’ of early childhood education and care (ECEC) available to some families means that 80% of the provision being accessed in

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A taxing problem

November 9, 2023

Publications
A taxing problem
Reforming business rates in England

By
Lukasz Krebel, Alfie Stirling, Sarah Arnold
09 November 2023

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The UK’s current business rates system is not fit for purpose – it is unfair, inefficient, and overcentralised. In this paper, we propose a new business rates system that combines a land value and a business property tax. Our proposed system is fairer, more efficient, and gives more control to

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A just transition will require steely resolve from policy makers

November 7, 2023

Blog
A just transition will require steely resolve from policy makers
Thousands of jobs are threatened at a Scunthorpe steel foundry, highlighting the need for a just transition

By
Chaitanya Kumar
07 November 2023

The UK steel industry is back in the news again, with impending decisions by British Steel and Tata to lay off thousands of workers as the companies transition to greener production methods. 
The hollowing out of UK manufacturing is a familiar story that has left behind a legacy of mistrust in former industrial areas. 
There is a

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When owning the land is the only answer

November 6, 2023

Blog
When owning the land is the only answer
Small businesses provide much value to local communities, but they’re being pushed out of London by extortionate rents and need an alternative

By
Frances Northrop, Emmet Kiberd
06 November 2023

Picture this: you’ve been living in the same home for decades, renting from a landlord with a broad social focus. You have built strong links in your local community and are valued for your contribution. Then your landlord decides to triple your rent. You are faced with having to find the

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It’s time for interest rates to go green

November 1, 2023

Blog
It’s time for interest rates to go green
The UK’s overdependence on fossil fuels makes us vulnerable to price shocks, we need the Bank of England and the government to be encouraging green investment

By
Theo Harris
01 November 2023

Higher interest rates have hit businesses’ ability and desire to invest in the cheap renewable energy the UK needs to bring down bills and overcome the cost of living crisis. We saw this in action in a recent failed offshore wind auction, when no company bid to build the offshore wind farms we desperately need.

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Pregnant in prison

October 25, 2023

Blog
Pregnant in prison
Pregnant women are being forced to give birth in prison, affecting their own and their children’s life chances. Janey Starling explains why no woman should be imprisoned in pregnancy.

By
Janey Starling
25 October 2023

This is an article from the sixth issue of the New Economics Zine. You can find the full issue here.
Prison will never be the best start to a child’s life. That should be obvious to anyone. Yet, in the past year, 50 women gave birth while spending time in prison. The deaths of two babies in prisons in

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Lets’s talk up the benefits of taxing carbon

October 23, 2023

Blog
Lets’s talk up the benefits of taxing carbon
Brits support the principle that polluters must pay, but we need to to see the benefits of carbon taxes too

By
Chaitanya Kumar
23 October 2023

Tax is a simple and effective way of reducing the impact of pollution on people while holding polluters accountable. The UK’s carbon tax has had a considerable impact over the last decade.
The UK Carbon Price Support (CPS) was an additional tax on polluters, primarily power generators, introduced in 2013 above the market price set by the EU Emissions

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Labour’s promise to build 1.5 million homes can’t be just a numbers game

October 19, 2023

Blog
Labour’s promise to build 1.5 million homes can’t be just a numbers game
We need to end the UK’s “blandemic” poorly designed housing. New towns must have high quality design at their core

By
David Pendlebury, Benedikt Stranak
19 October 2023

At last week’s Labour Conference, Keir Starmer made a bold promise: to build 1.5 million new affordable homes in five years.
Recent times have witnessed a glut of big commitments on house building, and many false dawns.
But if the UK really is on the brink of a New Towns housing

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What next for the clean energy transition

October 13, 2023

Blog
What next for the clean energy transition
After party conference season, the opportunities for and challenges to a clean energy transition are even clearer

By
Chaitanya Kumar
13 October 2023

In recent months, both of the main political parties in the UK have been underwhelming in their commitment to a green transition. But as I watched Keir Starmer deliver his speech from one of the cavernous halls of the Labour party conference, I felt hope that the leader of the opposition might have finally turned a corner. One area where the

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We can’t let culture war push us off track to net zero

October 5, 2023

Blog
We can’t let culture war push us off track to net zero
Rishi Sunak has ripped up the UK’s consensus on net zero, let’s pick up the pieces.

By
Alex Chapman
05 October 2023

The Prime Minister has decisively thrown off his ​“steady as we go” approach and injected chaos into the UK’s net zero plans.
The so-called ​“new approach” to net zero announced before the Conservative Party conference included a five-year delay to the 2030 ban of new petrol and diesel cars and a delay to phasing out gas boilers. Plans requiring landlords to meet new

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“We’re all trying to do one thing: live”

October 2, 2023

Publications
“We’re all trying to do one thing: live”
The impact of our social security system and how it needs to change, as told by the women who use it

By
Beti Baraki, Lucille Harvey, Brell Wilson, Emily Mitchell
03 October 2023

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A decade of social security cuts, stagnating wages, and the erosion of public services has left millions of households living in preventable poverty, with little choice but to

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A decade of austerity and growing national debt: why we need to reform the OBR

September 27, 2023

Blog
A decade of austerity and growing national debt: why we need to reform the OBR
Strengthening the independence of the OBR does nothing to address its detrimental short-termism

By
Dominic Caddick
27 September 2023

Last Friday Labour announced that they would reduce the political influence the government can wield over the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), a welcome decision. Whilst this move bolsters the OBR’s purpose as an independent fiscal watchdog, it also risks placing an undue confidence in both the methods and aims of it

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Reducing the stealth subsidy to banks

September 21, 2023

Blog
Reducing the stealth subsidy to banks
The banking sector is set to receive over £200bn from the Bank of England. Tiering reserves could save the public finances billions.

By
Dominic Caddick
22 September 2023

While the state has to deal with more expensive public finances and households struggle with a cost of living crisis, the banking sector is set to receive over £211bn in interest payments between December 2021 and July 2028. This is far more than we need to pay for monetary policy to work and is the result of an innocuous change to the

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Routes to nature

September 19, 2023

Publications
Routes to nature
Unlocking local access in England and Wales

By
Alex Chapman
20 September 2023

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Public understanding of the critical role played by the infrastructure that connects people, places, and nature has developed rapidly in recent years. In our last report, we advanced further, developing a deeper understanding of how one key component of the infrastructure of access to nature, the public right of way (PRoW) network is distributed across

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Who has a public right of way?

September 19, 2023

Publications
Who has a public right of way?
An analysis of provision and inequity in England and Wales

By
Alex Chapman, Poorva Prabhu, Antony Scott
20 September 2023

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A surge in recent research evidences the role regular visits and exposure to natureplay in individual and community wellbeing. Focused primarily on public green space and the greenness of public areas, this research has also pointed towards significant inequity

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Who gets to be a kid?

September 15, 2023

Blog
Who gets to be a kid?
Young people of colour are perceived as ‘more adult’ than their peers – often with devastating consequences.

By
Hannah Francis
15 September 2023

This is an article from the sixth issue of the New Economics Zine. You can find the full issue here.
Currently, police are approximately seven times more likely to stop and search Black people, and six times more likely to strip search Black children. 78% of those listed on the Metropolitan Police’s gangs matrix are Black, and Black people are over five times more likely than

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