Let's Talk Merton is our monthly informal political discussion, which takes place on the 2nd Monday of the month.
In December, the theme was social mobility. See below for the full review of the meeting.
Social mobility - the Let's Talk Merton view
The causes of social immobility are numerous and long-term, relating to: among other issues, the education system, culture, unequal labour markets, a regionally imbalanced economy, slow economic growth, unaffordable housing and the disadvantages of globalisation and automation.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes. We need long-term investment in infrastructure and new industries, and comprehensive tax reform, to enable economic growth and re-balance regional and intergenerational inequalities.
A more holistic approach to education should ensure young people have the skills and attitudes to progress (see our October education summary for more thoughts).
And we must tackle the housing crisis by building more houses (especially affordable and social housing) and ensuring renters’ rights. These solutions require long-term commitment and will not be achieved easily. In the meantime, we must fight illiberal answers (eg economic protectionism, anti-immigration, grammar schools), which will undermine long-term economic growth and entrench inequality.