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NEF’s 2020 reading list

A reading list of some of our most interesting work from this year, for you to digest over the festive season


We’re really proud of the work that NEF has done this year, often in really challenging conditions. With this in mind, we have collated a reading list of some of our most important and interesting work, for you to digest over the festive season. From the surge in union membership this year to the impact of neoliberalism on our mental health, we hope you enjoy this selection of NEF work.

A safety net for all
Lockdown and the pandemic have pushed record numbers of people onto universal credit. Instead of relying on our threadbare social security system, Sarah Arnold wrote about how a minimum income guarantee would make sure no one falls through the gaps.

Self-isolation is a luxury that gig economy workers can ill afford
This year we’ve been told to stay home to limit the spread of coronavirus. But for insecure workers, like those working in the gig economy, this may not be an option, wrote Aidan Harper in the Guardian.

Lockdown has awoken the sleeping giant in our workplaces: union power
During the coronavirus crisis, there’s been a surge in the number of people joining a union. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to build unity, wrote Rebecca Winson in the Guardian.

How the government abandoned the self-employed
After years of allowing self-employment to replace secure and well-paid work, the government promptly abandoned the self-employed during this crisis. For the millions left behind, it’s time to organise for better, wrote Emily Scurrah in Tribune.

Eva Bee

This is your brain on neoliberalism
If you can’t afford to buy a new car or pay your rent, it’s your own fault – that’s what neoliberalism tells us. No wonder we’re in the midst of a mental health crisis, wrote Ayeisha Thomas-Smith in the latest issue of the New Economics Zine.

The crisis of care​.com
Online platforms are reorganising the way we care for each other. But on-demand apps won’t plug the holes in our broken care systems, wrote Miranda Hall in OpenDemocracy.

Migrants access to healthcare during the coronavirus crisis
Our report, with Patients Not Passports, Medact, and Migrants Organise, found that migrants and BAME communities have been excluded from healthcare during coronavirus. The government’s hostile environment policies are contributing to disproportionate BAME deaths from Covid-19.

Awareness of what?
For Mental Health Awareness Week, Jake Mills of Chasing the Stigma wrote about the national crisis that lies beneath the social media veneer of mental health awareness’. This piece also appeared in the latest issue of the New Economics Zine.

Net out of jail free
There’s a new game in town for climate delayers. It’s called net zero’, and Andrew Pendleton wrote about why it’s the last refuge of the climate scoundrel.

A green stimulus for housing
Our report, by Donal Brown, Chaitanya Kumar and Joanna Marshall, showed how a four-year national house retrofit programme could save families over £400 a year — and create 500,000 jobs.

Image: Unspash

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