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The Briefing Room

Podcast The Briefing Room
Podcast The Briefing Room

The Briefing Room


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5 de 196
  • The UK's Energy Crisis
    The Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has said there is 'no question of the lights going out' this winter as a result of a huge rise in gas prices. But many smaller energy companies are struggling to stay afloat as they are unable to pass on the higher wholesale costs of gas to their customers because of the energy price cap. Labour has accused the government of complacency when it comes to energy supplies. Some Conservatives have warned of a tricky winter ahead. So what lies behind the current problems, and what can be done to stop it happening again? Joining David Aaronovitch are : David Sheppard, Energy Editor at the Financial Times Dr Sharon George, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, University of Keele Michael Bradshaw Professor of Global Energy at the Warwick Business School Sir Dieter Helm, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford Producers: John Murphy, Kirsteen Knight, Soila Apparicio Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot Editor: Jasper Corbett
  • Vaccine Passports and Booster Jabs
    Government ministers have been blowing hot and cold about vaccine passports. Now the Westminster government says it is not planning to introduce them to England, though they're being kept as an option should things change. The Welsh government is thinking about them, while Northern Ireland has rejected them for now. In Scotland vaccine passports are coming in on October 1st for nightclubs and large venues. But booster jabs are coming across the UK. The roll-out for over-50s, frontline health workers and vulnerable groups will begin in days. Joining David Aaronovitch to ask if we need vaccine passports and boosters are: Laure Millet, head of the healthcare policy programme at the Institut Montaigne in Paris Melinda Mills, Professor of Demography at the University of Oxford and Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science Azra Ghani, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London Natasha Loder, Health Policy Editor at The Economist Producers: John Murphy, Kirsteen Knight, Soila Apparicio Editor: Jasper Corbett
  • Universal Credit: The Challenge Ahead
    At the start of the first pandemic lockdown the government announced a £20 uplift for those receiving Universal Credit, the benefit designed to help those of working age with their living costs. It made clear at the time that the extra money was temporary and, in the coming weeks, payments will start to be reduced. But is a cliff-edge drop in the income of more than two-and-a-half million families the right step to be taking? And how best are the UK's poorest to be supported with the country still recovering from the pandemic? David Aaronovitch and his guests evaluate how well Universal Credit has been helping those in and out of work and what the uplift has achieved for families and single person households. Is giving more money to claimants the most effective way of helping them in the post-pandemic economy? Or, with prices rising for household essentials, should the government now be thinking about other measures to help those struggling to make ends meet? How do we help the least well-off while being fair to taxpayers and not subsidising employers paying low wages? Those taking part (in order of appearance): Fran Bennett of the Department for Social Policy & Intervention at Oxford University; Tom Waters, Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies; Gemma Tetlow, Chief Economist at the Institute for Government; and Deven Ghelani, founder of the social policy business, Policy in Practice. Producers Simon Coates, Jim Booth and Kirsteen Knight Editor Jasper Corbett
  • The Afghan Refugee Crisis
    The Taliban takeover over of Afghanistan has left millions of people internally displaced and hundreds of thousands more hoping to leave the country soon. Where will these Afghan refugees try to go and how will they be received by different countries? Joining David Aaronovitch in The Briefing Room are: Camille Le Coz, Policy Analyst with Migration Policy Institute. Michael Semple, Professor at the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University Belfast and former UN co-ordinator for the Bamiyan region in Afghanistan. Peter Walsh, researcher in migration at the Migration Observatory. Dominic Casciani, BBC Home and Legal correspondent Producers: Ben Carter, Kirsteen Knight and Sharon Hemans Studio Manager: James Beard Production Co-ordinator: Iona Hammond Editors: Alison Gee and Jasper Corbett
  • HS2: On Track?
    HS2, a high-speed railway linking up London, the Midlands and the North of England has been in development for more than a decade. It was described by Boris Johnson as the ‘spine’ of a new network to deal with the ‘great musculoskeletal problem of UK transport’. The ‘spine’ is costing an arm and a leg. In 2012 the project was priced at £32.7bn. That was revised to £55bn in 2015. Last year a review by civil engineer Doug Oakervee said the final figure could top £100bn. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already warned that Covid has severely damaged public finances and that will likely impact decisions made in the comprehensive spending review taking place this autumn. So how is HS2 progressing and is its completion threatened by its rising costs? Joining David Aaronovitch in The Briefing Room are - Nick Kingsley, Managing Editor of Railway Gazette International Bridget Rosewell, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission George Parker, political editor at the Financial Times Tony Travers, Professor in the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics Producers: Ben Carter, Kirsteen Knight and Sharon Hemans Editor: Jasper Corbett Sound Engineer: Neil Churchill

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