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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Laird

Radical Reformers ep.38: Helen Barnard

Helen Barnard, Joseph Rowntree Foundation & Pro Bono Economics

This a timely conversation with overty and cost-of-living expert Helen Barnard. Helen is a Associate Director at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Research and Policy Director at Pro Bono Economics. Chances are you have heard Helen talking about the current crisis on the news.

For context, as the podcast was recorded, the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng had just stepped aside and the “mini budget” was being unwound...

Helen has just released a new book which is part of a series styled as a new Beverage report. Andrew and Helen discuss the drivers of poverty and how Government should respond in the aftermath of the pandemic, which has surfaced and exacerbated a huge level of inequality in our society. They also discuss what the priorities should be at the various levels of government. Helen and Andrew are both Commissioners on Philippa Stroud’s Poverty Strategy Commission which aims to develop concrete policy proposals in this area.

They also talk about good policy making and how in order to make sustainable progress, people of differing views need to come together and try and reach consensus. It seems to there is a dangerous norm emerging that unless you agree with someone else on everything you can agree on nothing – this is the road to nowhere. Coalition building around specific topics is key to lasting progress.

If you are interested in hearing more of Helen's insights - don’t miss the release of her brand-new book ‘Want’. In it, Helen investigates what a modern-day welfare system should look like in Britain. You can get hold of a copy here.


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