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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Economic Justice Roadshow

A UK-wide programme of public meetings

The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice made the case for radical economic reform. This year IPPR is holding a series of public events across the UK engaging policy communities and civil society in to discuss how the Commission's findings can improve prosperity and justice for our nations and regions. So far, we have hosted people in the North East, North West, West Midlands, South West and Wales.

The programme opened in Newcastle, with the UK's newest metro mayor Jamie Driscoll sharing his vision for a just and prosperous economy in the North East, including a just transition to a low-carbon economy and the injustice of in-work poverty in the North East.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll was joined by a panel of speakers representing business, trade unions and civil society in the North East, including Community Organiser and Member of the Commission on Economic Justice Sara Bryson, who spoke of the need to build power amongst communities to achieve lasting change. We also heard from audience members interested in creative industries, ethnicity paygaps and national representation. IPPR North Director Sarah Longlands chaired the panel and spoke to North East Times about regional inequality and the purpose of the economy.

For the second event in the series, we were joined in Manchester by Mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram, who both argued for devolution as the route to economic justice in the North West. You can listen to a podcast of both of their speeches here.

'There are four key ingredients for economic justice in the North West: good housing, good work, good transport and hope for the future.' 

Mayor Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester

Speakers from Greater Manchester Citizens, Deloitte, Culture Liverpool and the TUC spoke of their relationships to economic justice, including Claire Dove OBE, Member of the Commission on Economic Justice. The panel also responded to audience contributions on collective bargaining, discrimination and environmental justice.

In July, Liam Byrne MP opened Economic Justice for the West Midlands by celebrating the region's history of innovation, and echoing the Commission's call for the UK to establish an economic model in place of our current economic muddle. Chaired by the Head of the Centre for Economic Justice Carys Roberts, the panel of campaigners, policymakers and business representatives discussed the need to address the gig economy in the region and drive green innnovation.

For the final event of the summer, First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford joined us in Cardiff, and set out his aim to build an economy where fairness, equality and justice are hard-wired into decisions through social partnership, collective bargaining and public investment that creates shared value. IPPR Director Tom Kibasi chaired the panel with leading speakers representing groups from across the Welsh economy, including National Black History Coordinator Uzo Iwobi OBE who highlighted the economic opportunities to be gained from integrating BAME communities into the labour market.

In November the roadshow rolled into Exeter for the fifth event in the series, Economic Justice for the South West. Carys Roberts hosted a fascinating roundtable discussion looking at local wages, being outpriced by second homes, poor transport and rural poverty. At the public event we were joined by local council leader Cllr Phil Bialyk and speakers from community businesses, local charities and environmental groups, as well as 70 local people from A-level students to pensioners. 

You can join us for similar events in 2020 in Scotland, the South East and Northern Ireland. If you would like to recommend a venue, speaker or group to be involved, then get in touch with Jacana Bresson at [email protected].

This series of events is generously supported by the Friends Provident Foundation.