In a new report, entitled ‘The UK’s Path to a Doughnut-Shaped Recovery’, researchers at the University of Leeds outline four Doughnut-inspired strategies that they argue would improve society’s resilience in the face of slowing growth and economic shocks.

Lead author, Beth Stratford, from the Sustainability Research Institute at Leeds, said: ‘Our governments lack the confidence to respond effectively to public health and ecological emergencies because they rightly fear triggering crises of unpayable debt, unemployment, or rising inequality. This confidence can only be achieved if we tackle the underlying causes of our dependence on growth’.

The report identifies new and existing policies that decision-makers in the United Kingdom could implement to ‘get on the path to a Doughnut-shaped recovery from the Covid-19 crisis’. The authors organise these policy proposals into four parallel strategies to:

  • Safeguard basic needs, by strengthening the social security net and expanding access to free basic services

  • Empower and protects workers, to make working-time reduction a feasible solution to the threat of unemployment

  • Reduce exposure to debt crises, to help achieve economic stability

  • Tackle rent extraction, to prevent rising inequality

Co-author, Dan O’Neill, also from the Sustainability Research Institute said: ‘By reducing our economy’s growth dependence, we could give policymakers the freedom and confidence to respond decisively to public health emergencies, and to introduce tough environmental protections in line with planetary boundaries.’

‘Shedding the blinkers of GDP maximisation, and adopting the Doughnut as a new compass to guide public policy, would allow us to focus on the health and well-being of all people, and protect the living planet upon which we depend.’

The UK’s Path to a Doughnut-Shaped Recovery’ report is part of an ongoing partnership between Doughnut Economics Action Lab, Wellbeing Economy Alliance, and the University of Leeds.

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