Skip navigation
The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Starmer right that pandemic must be turning point for UK economy with more active partnership role for state, says IPPR

IPPR Director offers ideas to help deliver economic and social reform needed for a prosperous and just future

IPPR has welcomed Labour’s ambition to reform UK economy, with a greater role for the state in partnership with businesses, unions and families. 

Carys Roberts, IPPR Executive Director, said in response to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s speech today: 

“Starmer is right to say that the pandemic must mark a turning point for the UK’s economy and social contract. Covid-19 has exposed deep inequalities throughout our society, with thousands struggling to get by while the wealthy grow wealthier. 

“The IPPR Commission on Economic Justice showed that a fairer economy is a stronger economy, and that governments must work in partnership with businesses and unions to steer the economy to be both prosperous and just.  

“It’s true that 10 years of austerity weakened our public service and economy. But many of the UK’s economic problems go back decades, from low business investment to regional inequalities.  

“The task for Labour now, if it wants to change people’s lives and put right injustices, is to build a bold policy agenda to fundamentally reform the economy and offer real security to all families.” 

She sketched out some of the strong policy ideas Labour could draw on: 
“IPPR has called for a rapid and fair transition to net-zero in response to the climate and nature emergencies, with significant investment needed.  

“The economy must be ‘hard wired’ for economic justice, with workers on boards and collective bargaining, stronger competition policy to tackle the enormous power of the tech giants, and more fairly shared ownership of our country’s wealth, including through taxes on income from assets.  

“Just as the Beveridge report made health care free at the point of use, so now should social care be available, free, for those who need it, as part of renewed commitment to a properly funded and comprehensive social safety net.” 

Next month’s budget will be a crucial test, she said: 

“Both major parties are now vying to offer the change the country needs. Starmer has set the challenge at the chancellor’s feet for next month’s budget; all eyes are now on Sunak to see if he will take it.”


Carys Roberts is available for interview 


David Wastell, Head of News and Communications: 07921 403651 [email protected]  

Robin Harvey, Digital and Media Officer: 07779 204798 [email protected]  


  1. Yesterday IPPR published a report calling for a major fiscal stimulus to secure a strong recovery, matching the ambition of the US President Joe Biden’s stimulus plans. The report Boost it like Biden by Carsten Jung and Dr George Dibb is available to download here:  
  1. Last week IPPR warned that up to 9 million jobs were at risk without a range of measures to support businesses, including cash injections in return for an equity stake which could ultimately be held within a Citizens’ Wealth Fund  
  1. In 2018 the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice set out a roadmap for the fundamental reform of the UK economy. The final report Prosperity and Justice is available to download here:    
  2. IPPR is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. With more than 40 staff in offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.