A beta bailout: the near future of state intervention

Journal: 
Issue: 
Summer 2020
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.75.02.2020

This article asks what kind of state intervention is needed for a post-Covid recovery. The government bailout will seek to sustain a modified form of neoliberalism, but what is needed is a bailout for society from the wreckage of the neoliberal paradigm. The outlines of a strategy for the UK economy are presented: at its heart is a radical industrial policy that prioritises social infrastructure, a green transition and providing quality employment opportunities, while paying particular attention to the functioning of the foundational economy. An active labour market policy (ALMP) is also needed, which turns away from a focus on conditionality for those on benefits, and instead focuses support on industries less affected by the pandemic and its implications for demand, including through securing a workforce that is ready to populate them. Conditionality should, on the other hand, be imposed on firms receiving government support. Bailout 2.0 must also involve intervention designed to create new public assets, managed via new forms of democratic ownership.

Soundings 75: System change