The Expert Factor

IFS/IfG/UKICE

  • 36 minutes 57 seconds
    What can be done to fix the prisons crisis?

    Within days of winning the general election, Keir Starmer has had to respond to what is undoubtedly a crisis – perhaps even an emergency – in prisons across England and Wales. 

    The equation is a simple one. Too many prisoners, not enough prison places. More prisons are being planned. But even this won’t keep track of the expected rise in prisoner numbers.

    So how on earth was this allowed to happen? Who is to blame?And has the Labour government come up with a sensible plan to fix the problem – or just a short term sticking plaster?

    Ken Macdonald, crossbench peer, former Director of Public Prosecutions and president of the Howard League for Penal Reform, joins Anand and Hannah to examine one of the biggest headaches facing the new government. Produced by Milo Hynes.

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR: Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, explore and explain the big questions and policy challenges that will be faced by the Labour government, dominate debate in Westminster and beyond, and shape the political landscape for years to come.

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    19 July 2024, 3:23 pm
  • 35 minutes 53 seconds
    What does the general election result mean for British politics?

    It’s not even a week since the British electorate voted to hand power back to Labour. Keir Starmer now leads a government with a huge majority. Rishi Sunak is still – just – leading a massively reduced Conservative opposition. The Liberal Democrats have reclaimed their status as Parliament’s third largest party. The SNP had a terrible night. Reform have established a foothold in Westminster too.

    British politics has been turned on its head. So what does it mean for how this country is governed? Is this a significant shift or a short term protest? What do Keir Starmer’s first appointments tell us about what he wants from his ministers? What actually happens next in Parliament? And just how hard will it be for Labour to achieve its arms and policy priorities?

    Plus: The elections in France: what just happened and what happens next?

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR: Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, explore and explain the big questions and policy challenges that will be faced by the Labour government, dominate debate in Westminster and beyond, and shape the political landscape for years to come.

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    11 July 2024, 10:42 am
  • 44 minutes 2 seconds
    Can the next government fix the housing crisis?

    Whoever wins the general election – and right now it looks set to be Labour – is going to inherit a particularly stacked and complicated in-tray. And most complicated of all might just be housing.

    It’s a problem that so many people are facing – and it’s a problem that successive governments have completely failed to solve. There aren’t enough houses. There aren’t enough houses being built. Houses are too expensive to buy. In some places they are too expensive to rent. 

    So what is the solution? Hannah and Paul are joined by special guest Toby Lloyd, a housing policy expert and former No10 adviser, to make sense of what has gone wrong – and what could be done to fix it.

    PLUS: Just how bad are these gambling headlines for the government?

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    Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, explore and explain the big questions and policy challenges that will be faced by the Labour government, dominate debate in Westminster and beyond, and shape the political landscape for years to come.

    Produced by Milo Hynes and Podmasters

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    8 July 2024, 3:07 pm
  • 39 minutes 39 seconds
    Do Sunak or Starmer really have a plan for economic growth?

    It’s the Holy Grail. The answer to all our problems. The key to, well pretty much anything the next government wants to – and can – achieve. Rishi Sunak made it one of his five pledges. Keir Starmer placed it front and centre of Labour’s manifesto. But does anyone really know how to deliver economic growth?

    With Paul on his holidays, The Expert Factor is joined by IfG chief economist Gemma Tetlow for a closer look at the questions that could define the next government – and the future of our public services. What levers can governments pull to make growth happen? Is for politicians to build their promises on the prospects of future growth? And what does growth really mean in the real world for you or me?

    Plus: How big a deal is the Conservative/Reform crossover poll?

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come. Produced by Milo Hynes

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    18 June 2024, 5:00 pm
  • 37 minutes 58 seconds
    What will happen to taxes after the 2024 general election?

    Promises not to raise tax are a feature of every general election campaign, and this year is no different. But what are Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer really saying about tax – and what does it mean for what the government can spend on struggling public services?

    Which taxes could still rise? What taxes need reform – and how can government go about it? And what does the public really think about tax? Anand, Paul and Hannah crunch the numbers  and tell you what the tax rows are all about.

    Plus: Rise of the Right... what just happened at the European Parliament elections?

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come. Produced by Milo Hynes

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    11 June 2024, 12:07 pm
  • 48 minutes 34 seconds
    Are we selecting the best MPs?

    How do parties decide who gets to stand to be an MP? And are they doing it right? So far this general election has been whirlwind of surprises and unexpected recrimination. Keir Starmer has been accused of purging the Labour Left to install friendly faces in plum seats. And the Conservatives had to search frantically for new candidates to replace record numbers of their MPs who’ve decided to stand down.

    What does it take to get on the ballot paper? And how do the parties’ choices shape their future in power (or opposition)? Special guest Isabel Hardman – assistant editor of The Spectator and author Why We Get The Wrong Politicians – guides our panel the murky world of candidate selection.

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come. Produced by Robin Leeburn for Podmasters

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    6 June 2024, 5:07 pm
  • 39 minutes 35 seconds
    Election 2024: What's behind the Starmer-Sunak Stand-off?

    It is a week since a rain-soaked Rishi Sunak called a general election. So what on earth is going on? Does Rishi Sunak’s surprise decision make any more sense? Is the idea of national service going to win back the younger voters? Do the claims and counter-claims about tax add up? And will anyone talk about Brexit over the next six weeks? For impartial, insightful and, yes, expert analysis and insight, there is no better podcast to turn to than the Expert Factor.

    From now until the July 4th polling day, Hannah, Paul and Anand are going to dig into the big policy announcements, pick apart the manifestos, crunch the numbers, analyse the promises and pledges, and explain what this general election is all about – and what it means for government, for the public finances, for politics and for you.

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come. Produced by Milo Hynes

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    30 May 2024, 5:08 pm
  • 33 minutes 42 seconds
    How can public inquiries make a difference?

    Hillsborough. Bloody Sunday. Grenfell. Scott. Leveson. Chilcott.

    And just this week, infected blood, the Post Office and Covid.

    Public inquiries can make headlines. They can alter the course of political careers. They can bring closure. They can shape all our lives.

    So in the week that the contaminated blood inquiry’s final report was published, Emma Norris, the IfG’s deputy director and resident public inquiries expert, joins Anand and Paul

    to examine what makes a successful public inquiry - and what makes an unsuccessful one. Should politicians resist them or welcome them? How much do they really cost - and does that matter? And how can they make a difference?  

    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come. 

     

    Produced by Milo Hynes

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    24 May 2024, 11:45 am
  • 33 minutes 15 seconds
    What’s going wrong with Britain’s universities?

    UK universities are widely regarded as some of the best in the world. Boasting six of Europe’s top ten universities, it’s easy to see why so many students choose to study in Britain.

    Yet despite this, Britain faces a major skills shortage. Outcomes vary greatly across students from different backgrounds. And prospective students are increasingly sceptical about whether a degree is worth the money.

    With the election fast approaching, all parties are laying out their vision for the future of Britain’s universities. So why does it matter? Are UK universities really world leading? How is it funded? Is this sustainable? Are degrees worth the money? And what needs to change?

    In this episode, the Expert Factor team take a deep dive into universities - their funding models, what they cost to the taxpayer, how much they contribute to the economy, where they’re failing, and what needs to change. 

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come. Produced by Milo Hynes

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    17 May 2024, 10:09 am
  • 29 minutes 29 seconds
    What do the 2024 local elections really tell us about UK politics?

    The dust has settled, we've caught up on our sleep, and the Expert Factor team have assembled in the studio to make sense of a big set of local elections. Local Government Chronicle editor Sarah Calkin is this week’s special guest, joining Anand and Paul to explain what these votes were all about and why they matter. 

    So what do these elections mean for Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer? Will the results have any impact on campaign strategies for the general election? Could they even force Sunak to call an early election - or perhaps a very late one?

    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come.

    Produced by Milo Hynes and Podmasters

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    10 May 2024, 7:12 am
  • 36 minutes 46 seconds
    Why should voters care about the government’s industrial strategy?

    The general election campaign will probably be all about immigration, the economy, jobs and the NHS, but an industrial strategy – or not, if there isn’t one – could be critical to the future of this country.

    But what exactly is an industrial strategy? And why should voters pay attention to whether the government has one – and what Labour might do differently?

    Hannah and Paul are joined on this week’s Expert Factor by Giles Wilkes, who has worked on industrial strategy at the heart of government, to explore what an industrial strategy actually means for anyone voting in the general election. When can we tell if an industrial strategy is working? Does Rishi Sunak have an industrial strategy? Has Keir Starmer come up with a plan of his own? What have former prime ministers done with their industrial strategies? Has the UK ever even had a successful industrial strategy?

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    THE EXPERT FACTOR is the podcast for people who haven’t had enough of experts. Each week the directors of three leading and respected think tanks – Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Hannah White of the Institute for Government, and Anand Menon of UK in a Changing Europe – get together to discuss, debate and explain the big questions and themes that will shape the election – and the political landscape for years to come. Produced by Milo Hynes


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    3 May 2024, 9:05 am
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