65 episodes

Go beyond the 24-hour news cycle and get objective, independent analysis from the researchers behind the work. Hosted by Institute for Fiscal Studies Director, Paul Johnson. Every second Wednesday.
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IFS Zooms In: The Economy Institute for Fiscal Studies

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Go beyond the 24-hour news cycle and get objective, independent analysis from the researchers behind the work. Hosted by Institute for Fiscal Studies Director, Paul Johnson. Every second Wednesday.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    The future of public sector pensions

    The future of public sector pensions

    In an era where those in the private sector have seen their pension provision decrease, pensions in the public sector continue to look generous.
    But is this sustainable? Should we change the balance between pay and pensions for those in the public sector? What does the future hold for public sector pensions?
    This week, we speak to Lord Hutton of Furness, cabinet minister in the last Labour government and leader of the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission, a review into public sector pensions commissioned by David Cameron, and by Carl Emmerson, IFS Deputy Director and expert on pensions.
    Support the IFS: https://ifs.org.uk/donate

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    • 38 min
    How can we fix the childcare system?

    How can we fix the childcare system?

    Early education and childcare can have a critical impact both on helping children to develop and in supporting parents, especially mothers, to work.
     
    In recent months, reports of soaring childcare costs and staff shortages combined with the wider cost of living crisis have pushed government to act. But how expensive is childcare in the UK? How does it stack up against other countries? What can the government do to bring down costs?
     
    This week, we speak to Christine Farquharson, senior economist at IFS and expert on education and childcare and to Neil Leitch, Chief Executive of the Early Years Alliance.
    Support the IFS: https://ifs.org.uk/donate

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    • 39 min
    HIGHLIGHT: The productivity problem

    HIGHLIGHT: The productivity problem

    **We will be back next week with a new episode **
    In the past decade, the UK has seen some of the slowest rates of productivity growth of the OECD countries, with output per hour and real wages no higher today than they were prior to the global financial crisis. Why is a high-tech, developed economy like the UK struggling to be more productive? What policies can government implement to get productivity growing again? And how can we spur innovation while also tackling issues like inequality?
    This week, we speak to John Van Reenen, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, and expert on innovation, firms and productivity.
    Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/donate

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    • 34 min
    How should the government tax electric cars?

    How should the government tax electric cars?

    In 2030, motorists in the UK won't be able to buy fossil fuel powered vehicles from showrooms anymore. To incentivise a shift to an all-electric future, the government is giving considerable tax breaks to the owners of electric vehicles (EVs) to stimulate uptake.
    However, as more and more people move away from fossil fuels, the government stands to lose billions of pounds in tax revenue - unless it decides to tax EVs.
    In this episode, we speak to Stuart Adam, IFS tax expert and Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation to discuss how the government could tax EVs in future.
    Support the IFS: https://ifs.org.uk/donate

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    • 36 min
    The future of student loans

    The future of student loans

    Since 2012, students have been paying considerably higher tuition fees, and borrowing more money in the form of student loans.
    The average graduate racks up a total average debt of £45,000 and only a minority of students under the current system will ever pay these loans back in full. By the middle of the century, the government forecasts the unpaid student loans debt to be around £560 billion.
    In a series of recently announced reforms, the government has indicated a desire for students to pay back more of their loans, and pushed through significant changes to the system.
    This week, Paul speaks to Ben Waltmann, IFS education expert, and Ivor Crewe, panellist on the Augar Review of the post-18 education system, to get to the bottom of these reforms and think about how students, taxpayers and universities will be affected.
    Are too many people going to university?: https://ifs.org.uk/podcast/are-too-many-people-going-to-university
    Support the IFS: https://ifs.org.uk/donate

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    • 34 min
    HIGHLIGHT: How should the government influence what we eat?

    HIGHLIGHT: How should the government influence what we eat?

    ** This is an episode from 2021. We will return with a new episode next week **
    The food we eat and the way it is produced impacts not only our health and lifestyles, but also our carbon footprints.
    The recent National Food Strategy report commissioned by the government and published this summer proposes measures to improve our health, reduce strain on the NHS and make our food culture healthier and more sustainable. What role should the government play in influencing what we eat? And how can taxes and policy be designed to get us to eat more healthily?
    This week, Paul is joined by Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the restaurant chain Leon and leader of the National Food Strategy report, and IFS Associate Director and expert on food taxes Kate Smith.
    Support the IFS: https://www.ifs.org.uk/donate

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    • 34 min

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