Chris Boxall

Hosted by Chris Boxall

TFA006 Paul Johnson on Pensions, Ageing Population & Government Spending


In today’s episode director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies Paul Johnson shares the true cost of running Britain.

Paul explores taxes, pensions including auto-enrollment, the ageing population, and the future of the state pension.

Paul is perhaps one the UK’s best-known economists, a regular on BBC Radio 4, and writes a column for the Times Newspaper. He is also a published author with a Times bestseller Follow the Money, How Much Does Britain Cost.

Key topics discussed:

  • Are we receiving good value for our taxes?
  • Will our taxes keep on rising?
  • Should we just tax the rich?
  • Is growth the answer, or raising taxes?
  • How much does the state pension cost?
  • Does auto-enrollment solve the problem of funding one’s retirement?
  • Does the risk measurement process need an overhaul?


1:30 Paul Johnson’s journey and career so far.

3:15 Holding the government to account.

4:00 How much the government spends.

6:15 Where does the government get its money from.

7:45 What are the big three expenses for the government finances.

11:05 Are we getting good value for money.

15:00 Will taxes keep on rising.

16:15 Can we tax the rich more.

19:10 Is growth a better option than raising taxes.

22:00 Should defined benefit pensions invest more in equities.

23:14 Overhauling defined benefit default funds.

25:30 Does the pension system need an overhaul.

26:40 Is the state pension sustainable.

28:00 Has auto-enrollment been a success.

32:00 Closing thoughts and wrap up.

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