IPPR rethinks economic policy for post-Brexit

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), has found strong support for all the major policy proposals recommended by the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice in its final report.

This think-tank in the UK has published some interesting results that I set out in their summary here. The recommendations from this left-of-centre think-tank include higher government investment on infrastructure paid in part by increased taxes on the wealthy. They also recommend that company directors should focus on the long-term interests of their businesses.

Many of the people involved in IPPR are senior businessmen, academics and other thinkers – see below at end of article.

One interesting fact  is that many of the think-tank’s proposals that have been published the last few years refer to Nordic social and legal practices as strong guidelines fro the UK’s future development.

Here are the most import parts of their Summary:

At least 80 per cent of the public support greater regulation of the major digital companies such as Google and Facebook; would like to see a new corporation tax on multinational companies; and support raising the minimum wage to the ‘real living wage’. (Note the comment on zero-hour contracts)

At least 50 per cent of people support having workers on company boards; asking the Bank of England to control house price inflation; establishing a National Investment Bank; raising public investment through borrowing; and raising taxes on income from wealth to the same level as taxes on income from work.

Asked whether the economy works in a fair way or not, many more people (49 per cent) believe that it works unfairly than fairly (22 per cent). 53 per cent of people believe the economy has become more unfair over the last decade, compared with just 10 per cent who believe it has become more fair. There is little difference on this between the views of Remain and Leave voters.

The poll asked a representative sample of 1,330 British adults its views on a number of aspects of the economy, and gauged support for some of the policies the Commission recommends.

Among its other findings were:

  • Younger age groups are most likely to believe that the economy is unfair: 64 per cent of under-35s think the economy works in an unfair way, and 72 per cent think it has become more unfair over the last decade.
  • The vast majority of the British public (83 per cent) thinks the economy works well for those born into wealthy families; 74 per cent think it doesn’t work well for those born into poverty.
  • 53 per cent of people think the economy works well for people in the South of England; only 11 per cent think it works for those outside the South.

Some policies – such as the introduction of a new corporation tax to tackle avoidance by multinationals, or new regulation of the digital platform companies – attract near- universal support. Others – such as the increasing of taxes on income from wealth to match those on income from work – attract more of a mix of views. But it is clear that across the political spectrum, across age groups, and across levels of education, there is support for the economic policies the Commission proposes to achieve prosperity and justice together.

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