Category archives for Austerity

Austerity has transformed the meaning and morality of work in the UK

Craig Berry

Measuring economic success through levels of employment obscures the unsustainable and oppressive nature of the UK’s recovery Work has of course always been central to capitalist organisation, since the ability of capital to extract surplus value from labour is at the essential core of accumulation processes. In post-crisis UK, however, work has become not only integral to the function of … Continue reading

19 July 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: secular stagnation for the UK?

Jonathan Perraton

Current economic trends suggest the UK may need to be prepared for a period of weak, and potentially zero economic growth It is now almost eight years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers heralded the global financial crisis (GFC), roughly the length of a normal business cycle. Over that time interest rates have been held at record low levels and … Continue reading

11 May 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Economics, Finance, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis, USA | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Steel Crisis: Government, Multinationals and Regional Imbalance

Ewan Gibbs

Concerns about regional economies mean that even in an increasingly financialised and globalised steel sector the government is maintaining stewardship responsibilities Steel, the essential raw material widely understood as the precondition for industrial development, has been thrust into the centre of the debate about the UK’s economic future by the threatened closure of the last major basic mills. Into the … Continue reading

5 May 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, China, Development, Economics, Global crisis, Northern Powerhouse, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The European Union into the maelström

Grexit, Brexit and the migrant crisis are putting the future of the European Union under significant and sustained pressure Following the financial crisis of 2007-2008 the European Union (EU) is facing a situation that can easily be characterised as a maelström. The efforts and sacrifices incurred by European nation states in the last few decades in their attempt to converge … Continue reading

26 April 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: the gathering storm

Colin Hay

In the first of a new series of weekly SPERI blogs on ‘the coming crisis’ Colin Hay sets out the background to the series and outlines the themes it will explore That economists tend to optimism whilst political economists tend to pessimism is something of a truism, albeit one that often goes unacknowledged. The reason for this bifurcation in psycho-analytic … Continue reading

30 March 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The making of the modern ‘Debt State’

What we know (and don’t know) about ownership of public debt In a previous contribution to SPERI Comment, I presented some of my research on the domestic ownership structure of the US federal debt. The findings showed that since the early 1980s, and especially since the onset of the global financial crisis, federal bonds have become heavily concentrated in the … Continue reading

10 March 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Tax, USA | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 comments

Reconstituting the post-crisis real estate-finance link in Ireland, Spain & the US

The mortgage-led crisis has led to the financialization of rental housing – and new social struggles The global financial crisis had dramatic consequences for urban space and life in the US and the worst-affected European economies, Ireland and Spain: a tide of evictions and dispossession of homeowners, swathes of vacant property and stalled development, and rising homelessness. The scope and … Continue reading

1 March 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Housing, SPERI Comment, USA, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The real ‘new politics’ of post-crisis Britain: Part II

Craig Berry

Austerity is anchored in a new politics of place, but Labour is adrift In part I of this post, I argued that, through the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ agenda, the Conservative government had successfully exploited post-crisis anxieties about place to justify its ongoing austerity crusade. In this second part, I argue that Labour has been too slow to grasp the centrality of … Continue reading

25 February 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Craig Berry, Devolution, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The government is right on pensioner protection – but for the wrong reasons

Craig Berry

Critics of the protection of pensioner benefit entitlements are playing into George Osborne’s hands The politics of austerity appears to have induced an unfortunate amnesia among the British political class. For a long time the state pensions ‘earnings link’ was a totemic issue on the left – almost mythically so.  For her critics, Margaret Thatcher’s 1980 decision to index the … Continue reading

14 January 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who governs local economies?

Cities like Sheffield need more skilled jobs, but delivering them has to be both a national and a local priority SPERI’s latest Brief provides a snapshot assessment of three English city-region economies – Sheffield, Brighton and Oxford – in the period since the financial crisis.  The Brief highlights significant differences between Sheffield City Region’s economy and the two southern regions, … Continue reading

24 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Searching for a sustainable economic alternative in Britain

Daniel Bailey

The challenge is huge and demands coordinated political action at the European and global levels Craig Berry’s paper at the recent SPERI and IPPR roundtable event on the topic of ‘The British Growth Model: Building a Sustainable Future’ argued that a progressive economic narrative based on the contemporary concerns of the British public was required to usher out the already … Continue reading

4 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Corbynomics: Part 1

Andrew Gamble

Although sharing many of the biases of the ‘alternative economic strategy’ developed on the left in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, Corbyn’s economic programme is as yet no more than a pale reflection of the ideas of that era Corbynomics is high on aspiration, low on detail. The aspirations were set out in a short document produced by the … Continue reading

3 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The economic legacies of Denis Healey and Geoffrey Howe

James Silverwood

Often thought to have initiated key changes in economic policy, both men maintained and defended the longest-standing economic policy orthodoxy in Britain A common assertion in studies of the British political economy is that periods of economic, financial and political crisis produce changes in policy. This is particularly evident, for example, in the importance conventionally assigned to the 1976 IMF … Continue reading

29 October 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Debt, Economics, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Austerity rests on a thesis the government doesn’t believe in

Tom Hunt and Craig Berry

Concentration of infrastructure investment in areas with high levels of business activity suggests the government is unconcerned by ‘crowding out’ Remember expansionary fiscal contraction? You don’t hear much about it now, but back in 2010 when George Osborne set out his austerity agenda, the theory underpinning it was that the private sector would expand to fill the gaps caused by … Continue reading

1 September 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Craig Berry, Development, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Variations in austerity-based reform

Tom Hastings

PIIGS and GIPSIs may appear to face common problems, but we should always respect the uniqueness of each country’s particular crisis For well-documented reasons the Greek political economy has received unprecedented attention in recent months, fuelled not least by the possibility of ‘Grexit’ and the potential impacts of this on both Greek society and the wider Eurozone. It is worth … Continue reading

26 August 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Employment, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The complexity of securing a pay rise for Britain

Sarah Brown

The collection of essays recently published by the Resolution Foundation offers a range of innovative solutions In the context of signs of economic recovery, the recent publication of a collection of short essays by the Resolution Foundation that explore a wide range of themes related to securing wage recovery in Britain is both timely and welcome.  Given the well-documented, recent … Continue reading

16 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deficit fetishism and the art of political bullshit: Part I

Jonathan Hopkin and Ben Rosamond

Attempts to refute bullshit by appeals to the ‘facts’ are likely to be unsuccessful as argumentative strategies Debates about economic policy in the recent UK General Election campaign were dominated by one particular claim: that the last Labour government, which left office in 2010, was wholly responsible for the deficit.  This claim became a central plank of the Conservative Party’s … Continue reading

15 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Politics and policy, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , | 1 comment

What six public opinion graphs tell us about austerity

Liam Stanley

A majority of the British population has consistently expressed the belief over a period of several years that spending cuts to cut the government’s deficit are ‘necessary’ Austerity was meant to be over by now in the UK.  The country living comfortably within its means.  The books balanced.  But, with the Coalition government consistently missing its deficit-reduction targets, this is … Continue reading

9 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 comment

‘Osbornomics’ and the death of benign government

Matthew Watson

Osborne’s plan to bind all future Chancellors to produce annual budget surpluses is not driven by economic logic, but is intended to reshape the meaning of government There is something really rather smug about the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, intending to legislate formally for constant year-on-year budget surpluses.  ‘I have been so right all along in my … Continue reading

7 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Economics, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Tax | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rethinking Recovery V

Alex Nunn

Intergenerational and gender-based inequality: before and after the crisis The new Conservative government is persisting with billions of pounds of cuts despite rising evidence of poverty and inequality, particularly for young people, children and women. These cuts will only serve to reinforce generational and gender-based inequality. Just over a week ago on 20 June tens of thousands of people marched in … Continue reading

1 July 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, British growth crisis, Inequality, Rethinking Recovery, Social science, SPERI Comment, Welfare | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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