Wales' most innovative and influential think tank

Connect: Twitter Facebook LinkedInTel: 01685 350938

Economic change is in the air

May 23rd 2018

With economic announcements coming thick and fast, Victoria Winckler asks if a change of approach to our economy is in the air?

 

Something seems to be in the economic air. This week we have seen the launch of the Welsh Government’s new economic contract, today the Western Mail reports that the possibility of new laws to boost pay are being explored by the Wales TUC and former Counsel General, Mick Antoniw, and the preferred bidder for the new rail franchise announced today is also reportedly a new, not-for-profit model.  Alongside that, retail giants are shedding jobs and fears about automation continue apace.

What’s going on?

All of these developments are recognition that our economic model needs to change.  There’s a clear expectation that businesses must give something back to the wider community, whether it’s doing a bit more for their workforce and the environment, or using their own procurement powers to better effect.

Welcome though they are, three announcements in a week do not amount to a radical shift in policy. Indeed they need to be set against the high tech, inward investment, grants-driven approach that has been the mainstay of economic development policy for decades.

Instead of random announcements, Wales needs a coherent, effective set of policies that will achieve an inclusive economy.

That’s what our latest report – Creating an Inclusive Economy in Wales – sets out to do. Working with Wales Co-operative Centre, we start off by looking at the defining features of an ‘inclusive economy’ – which we see as one with:

  • Diverse and resilient businesses to create wealth and provide goods and services

  • Decent work for everyone to generate an income to live on

  • Knowledge and skills so people can secure a livelihood and progress

  • A say in economic decisions so that people’s needs are taken into account.

This isn’t a random wish-list, but are points drawn from what leading thinkers identify as the hall-marks of a thriving and inclusive economy.

How to do it?

What to do is of course the most important – and hardest – thing to do because we are really at the cutting-edge here. We developed six key steps:

  1. Grow the Foundational Economy

  2. Grow the Social Business sector

  3. Boost pay and conditions at work

  4. Make the most of procurement

  5. Connect people to jobs

  6. Listen to people

Behind these six steps are some really challenging ideas, like introducing a South Wales travel-card capped at the equivalent of an hour’s pay, and establishing social and community reference groups in each of the new economic regions.

If you want a radically-new approach to how we ‘do’ economics in Wales, please read the report, let us know what you think, and support us to take it further with a regular or one-off donation.

Victoria Winckler is Director of the Bevan Foundation.

0

Leave a Reply

In Print

Supporter Magazine

Exchange Issue 11, Summer 2018

The magazine with its finger on the pulse! The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine brings together a range of contributors to explore some of the most current and important issues in Welsh public life. Download a free extract Read more »

Exchange Issue 10, Spring 2018

“Refreshing, timely and balanced – Exchange has its finger on the pulse” The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine brings together a range of contributors to explore some of the most current and important issues in Welsh public life. Read more »

More from the Supporter Magazine »

Other Publications

Response to the Green Paper on Local Government

The Bevan Foundation has submitted its response to the Green Paper on local government reform. The Bevan Foundation’s response to the Welsh Government’s Green Paper ‘Strengthening Local Government, Delivering for People‘ argues that the Welsh Government needs to address the Read more »

More from Other Publications »

Newsletter

Stay informed

Keep up to date and gain new insights and inspiration with Spark, our FREE e-news

Sign Up For The Spark »

Support Us

Support lasting solutions today!

We need YOUR help to create equality, justice and prosperity for everyone in Wales

Support Us »

Events

September 20th 2018

The Role of Higher Education in post-Brexit Wales

The Role of Higher Education in post-Brexit Wales 12:30 – 13:30 Thursday 20th September 2018 Seminar rooms 1 & 2, Pierhead building, Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA Kindly sponsored by David Rees AM The Bevan Foundation and Universities Wales are delighted Read more »