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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

The case for change: Launch of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice

The launch of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice.

As the UK confronts the challenge of Brexit, the headline figures suggest the economy is in good shape. Employment is at a record high; GDP growth has averaged over 2% a year for the last three years; and national income is now around 7% higher than in 2008.

But underlying these figures there are troubling symptoms. Despite record low interest rates and quantitative easing, investment remains in long-term decline. Productivity growth has stalled since the financial crisis. A record trade deficit and falling government expenditure leave growth once again fuelled by rising consumer debt. Average incomes have barely grown since 2008, while geographically the recent recovery has entirely occurred in London and the southeast. The EU referendum result has been widely interpreted as a protest against an economy that does not work for all.

Addressing these structural problems is likely to need more profound policy changes than have hitherto been on the agenda. It is for this reason that IPPR launched the Commission on Economic Justice: a major two-year programme to examine the state of the British economy and make practical recommendations for its reform. We hope that its work will contribute to a re-designed UK economy that creates sustainable and broadly-shared prosperity.

At the event, IPPR introduced both the Commission, and a new report analysing the state of the UK economy.

Speakers were:

  • Juergen Maier, Chief Executive of Siemens UK
  • Helena Morrissey CBE, Chair of the Investment Association
  • Sandra Kerr OBE, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community
  • Grace Gould, Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Local Globe
  • Sara Bryson, Community Organiser, Citizens UK Tyne and Wear
  • Michael Jacobs, Director of the Commission on Economic Justice
  • Tom Kibasi, Director of the IPPR
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