On the news Ford is to close their Bridgend engine plant
Kate argued that blaming the closure on Brexit was doing a disservice to the workers and government needed to be honest with workers set to lose their jobs in Bridgend. She also suggested that should be an opportunity to look at how to incentivise business, possibly through devolution of tax power, to move to areas like south Wales and invest in the area.
On a no-deal Brexit
In an age with a renewed appreciation for democracy, brought about by Brexit, proroguing Parliament and undermining democratic institutions is not the answer. However, the UK has to leave the EU on or before October 31st 2019; this is now a matter of trust.
On renting in Germany vs UK
The housing crisis, outside of Brexit, is the biggest problem facing the UK today. Germany’s rents aren’t lower because of rent controls, but because they essentially have no green belt, no NIMBYs, and a far more relaxed planning system. The UK should take the evidence from Germany and build more homes to allow more people to get on the property ladder.
On low pay and stagnant wages
Issue of stagnant wages has contributed to growing political frustration; but Kate argues we must distinguish between workers who enjoy the flexibility provided by zero hours contracts and the gig economy and those who genuinely feel underemployed. She also notes that we should not separate low pay from the cost of living crisis and the tax burden.
Watch the full episode here.