The Cost of Living Crisis in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Online panel discussion & Q&A

19 July 2023
Zoom and livestream

Following the launch of our report, The cost of living crisis in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we were joined online by an expert panel to discuss the impact of the cost of living crisis across the devolved nations.

Hosted by the Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) and the Inclusive Growth Network (IGN), this lunchtime webinar brought together prominent speakers to discuss how rising costs are impacting different places in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Replay the webinar below.

Too often, analysis of the cost of living crisis focuses on England, largely due to data constraints. But across and within the four nations of the United Kingdom, the effects of the crisis are not uniformly experienced. Social and economic resilience varies dramatically from one area to another, significantly shaping how the spiraling costs of household essentials such as fuel, food, and housing, are affecting different communities. The need for a more inclusive approach and fairer economic growth model remains more vital than ever. How are places across the devolved nations dealing with this ongoing crisis and building long-term resilience? What can we share and learn from the challenges and initiatives taking place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Panelists for this discussion were:

  • Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council
  • John Tully, Director of City and Organisational Strategy, Belfast City Council
  • Carla Cebula, Senior Analyst, JRF Scotland
  • Ross Mudie, Research Analyst, CPP (report author)
  • Rosie Fogden, Head of Research and Analysis, CPP (panel chair)

This event coincided with the publication of a new report by CPP and the IGN, which highlights the varied impact of rising costs across different areas of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This discussion explored the findings, which highlight how local economic conditions in different areas of the three nations drive vulnerability to pressures such as high food prices, dependence on alternative fuels, and rising housing costs for both renters and mortgage-holders.

Speakers also shared insights on the current challenges and initiatives from their own experiences and communities.

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Event speakers

John Tully

Director of City and Organisational Strategy, Belfast City Council

John Tully is Director of City and Organisational Strategy at Belfast City Council, with responsibility for overall coordination and portfolio management of Belfast’s city strategy “The Belfast Agenda”. John is also responsible for the Council’s Climate Team, Strategy & Policy, Performance Management, Customer Contact Management and Continuous Improvement / Service Design. Belfast City Council is a member of the Inclusive Growth Network.

Cllr Huw Thomas

Leader of Cardiff Council

Councillor Huw Thomas has been Leader of Cardiff Council since May 2017.

As Leader of one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, Huw's administration is committed to a ‘Stronger, Fairer, Greener’ Cardiff through promoting inclusive growth and delivering major projects that include a £300m school building programme, the construction of 4,000 new Council homes by 2030, significant transport infrastructure developments and a new 17,000-seater Indoor Arena in Cardiff Bay.

Huw has served as a Labour Councillor for the Splott ward in Cardiff since 2012, chairs the Cardiff Public Services Board and is a director of Millennium Stadium Plc.

He is a member of the South East Wales Corporate Joint Committee and is a Vice-Chair of the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Regional Cabinet. In addition, he is one of the Welsh Local Government Association’s Economy Spokespersons and a member of the Core Cities Cabinet alongside representatives from other major cities in the UK.

Huw is a fluent Welsh speaker who graduated from Oxford University before completing a Masters in International Relations at Aberystwyth University. He has worked previously in IT, transport and, most recently, international development, as the Head of Christian Aid Wales.

Carla Cebula

Senior Analyst, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)

Carla Cebula is Senior Analyst at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). Carla supports the Scotland team at JRF to understand the scale and depth of poverty in Scotland. She has previously worked as a researcher at the University of Glasgow, researching gender inequalities in academic science careers, and as a statistician at Education Scotland. She completed a Phd at the University of Edinburgh looking at the effects of economic, social and cultural capital at home and in neighbourhoods on young people’s educational attainment in England.

Ross Mudie

Research Analyst, The Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP)

Ross Mudie is a Research Analyst at CPP, with interests in inequality, innovation and community development. Having spent brief spells working on policy and strategy development in local government, he was most recently a research assistant at United Nations University-MERIT, where he holds a Double MSc in Public Policy and Human Development along with Maastricht University. His areas of expertise and interest include industrial strategy, devolution and local government, public service reform and thegreen economy.

Rosie Fogden

Head of Research & Analysis, The Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP)

Rosie Fogden is Head of Research & Analysis at CPP. She joined the organisation in 2019 as a Senior Research Analyst and now leads our research programme, covering a breadth of projects from business investment to childcare. She has written on the importance of investment in public services to improve our health and productivity and on the role of good employment in making our economy more inclusive. Her areas of interest include good and flexible work, public health, early years, inclusive economics and fiscal policy. Before CPP, Rosie worked as a Senior Economist in the Cabinet Office. Prior to that, she worked on policy to promote the UK’s international economic interests at HM Treasury and has held several other roles across government.