Stewart Lansley
Stewart Lansley

Stewart Lansley is an economist and financial journalist. He is a visiting fellow at the School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol and a fellow at London's City University. He has written on inequality, wealth and poverty for academic and specialist journals as well as several newspapers.

He is the author of a number of books including A Sharing Economy (2016), Breadline Britain  ( with Joanna Mack, 2015); The Cost of Inequality (2011); Top Man (a biography of Philip Green, 2007); Rich Britain (2006) and Poor Britain (with Joanna Mack, 1985). He is also the author ( with Howard Reed ) of A Universal Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come? published by Compass, 2016. His previous academic posts include the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Universities of Brunel and Reading. He is also a former executive producer in the current affairs department of the BBC.


Contact Stewart:

Recent Books

A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds Can Reduce Inequality and Balance the Books, Policy Press, 2016

A Sharing Economy proposes radical new ways to close the growing income gap and spread social opportunities. Drawing on overseas examples, it shows how mobilising the huge financial potential of Britain’s public assets could pay for a pioneering new social wealth fund, and examines other ways of financing such funds. Social wealth funds are a potentially powerful new economic and social tool that can:

  • boost economic and social investment,
  • by building the social asset base, simultaneously strengthen the public finances
  • ensure that  more of the gains from economic activity are shared by all and not colonised by a powerful few
  • be used to help fund an annual citizen’s dividend or a basic income scheme.

"Bold and exciting, A Sharing Economy deserves wide public discussion, scrutiny and debate."

Ann Pettifor, Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics

"Capitalism needs reform. But how? Stewart Lansley argues powerfully and persuasively that a new economic model based on a sharing economy is both possible and increasingly urgent."

 Andrew Gamble, Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield

"Path-breaking. Provides a different model of how economic activity should occur and how prosperity should be shared, together making a new lens through which to tackle inequality."

Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation, University of Sussex

BREADLINE BRITAIN: The Rise of Mass Poverty- Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack, Oneworld


  • "Brilliant. Enlightening but disturbing." Amartya Sen -- Nobel Laureate in Economics
  • "A devastatingly shocking report. This is the book everyone needs to read......authoritative and compellingly readable." Polly Toynbee 
  • "Indispensable. Analytically sophisticated as well as stirring."  David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain, 1945-51
  •  "Careful and hard hitting. The gold standard of poverty measurement, leaves our politicians no excuses." Richard Wilkinson, co-author of The Spirit Level


The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality is Essential for Recovery, Gibson Square, 2011




The book argues that the real roots of the current crisis lie in the way the gains from growing prosperity – in the UK, US and a number of other rich countries - have been increasingly colonised by a small super-rich global elite. Growing inequality had squeezed incomes, sucked the lifeblood out of the productive economy and made the British and global economy much more prone to crisis.

It provides compelling evidence that British and American capitalism has become little more than a wealth-diverting machine, geared to enriching the few at the expense of the rest. Escape from the crisis and building a sustainable recovery depends on a more equal distribution of the cake. 

Runner-up, Spear's Business Book of the Year, 2011


' Exposes the truth about the economic catastrophe that afflicts the western world: neoliberalism has created consumer societies in which millions are so poor they cannot afford to consume. `  New Statesman, Book of the Year

'Lansley's new work belongs on every “people's library” shelf in an Occupy movement encampment. Your bookshelf, too.' Institute for Policy Studies


'Compelling.... the central arguments of Lansley's book - and the solutions he proposes - deserve a wide hearing and an urgent place on the policy agenda.' Times Higher Education


'As the seminal book, The Cost of Inequality, has set out – we are suffering from a historic demand deficit.' Guardian Comment


'Crammed with data and evidence, with this book in your hand you never need go into an argument unarmed.' Red Pepper


Recent articles:

‘The Obama Legacy`, La Vanguardia, October 2016


‘Social Wealth Funds: A key ingredient of a new alternative economic strategy`, World Financial Review, September, 2016;


‘Sir Philip Green: A business predator, not an entrepreneur’, Yorkshire Post, 19 October, 2016


‘Time to take stock over Lloyds sell-off’, Yorkshire Post, 12 October 2015


‘The Conservatives’ war on the poor’, New Statesman blog, 29 October 2015,


‘How Social Wealth Funds Could Tackle Inequality`, The Political Quarterly, October 2015,


'If we must sell the family silver, put the proceeds to good use', New Statesman, 15 June, 2015


Do we have the right model of capitalism for creating wealth?  Yorkshire Post, 15 February 2015


Britain's Wages Crisis - Is 'Predistribution` or 'Redistribution` the Way Forward?, The Political Quarterly, March 2014:


An Economic Imperative, Fabian Review, January, 2014 


‘Low pay and soaring profits a lethal mix for the economy’, Yorkshire Post, 20 January 2014 


 ‘Is the growing anti-welfare climate the new normal?`, Working Brief, Autumn, 2013


Inequality – the defining issue of our times`, International Relations and Security Network, November, 2013


How to Increase the Wage Share, TUC Touchstone Pamphlet ( with Howard Reed ), June 2013.


 ‘Poverty Minus a Pound, How the poverty consensus unravelled’,, May 2013


 ‘The Hourglass Society’, Los Angeles Review of Books, May 28, 2013


The Rise and Fall of the Middle Class’, Vanguardia, Spring, 2013.


 ‘Ed Miliband leads a turning point in progressive thinking`, Shifting Grounds, February, 2013


 ‘Forget free market dogma, Prosperity need fairness`, Yorkshire Post, 21 February, 2013.


 ‘Inequality, the Crash and the Crisis’, The Political Quarterly, Oct-Dec, 2012.


 ‘Inequality and Instability’, Poverty, Issue 143, Summer 2012


 Inequality, the crash and the crisis’, Part 3: The Limit to Inequality, OECD Insights, June 15, 2012

Other books:

Londongrad: From Russia With Cash, The Inside Story of the Oligarchs, Fourth Estate, 2009 ( with Mark Hollingsworth )

‘A racy and alarming investigation of the effect of Russian money on Britain.’  Economist 

A gripping chronicle of the decadence, danger and sheer power that defined a phenomenon… the definitive investigation of the oligarch phenomenon which rose and fell in the short years of the bubble of the past decade… a gobsmacking, head-shaking read.’  City AM

 ‘A mind-boggling and magnificently emetic exposition of Russian expats who have made their homes in London.’  Sunday Times


Top Man: How Philip Green Built His High Street Empire, Aurum, 2006 ( with Andy Forrester ).

Chosen as one of the Financial Times’s six top business books of 2006.

‘A top-notch, even-handed biography… Top Man is a model of clarity. It will be enjoyed by business pundits and general readers alike`.  Times Higher Education Supplement

‘Thorough and well-written… A rattling good story'. The Observer

‘Scrupulously researched.`  Financial Times.


Poor Britain, Allen & Unwin, 1985, ( with Joanna Mack )

This developed a new 'censensual methodology' for measuring poverty - one based on majoritarian public opinion. It is a concept that has been adopted by the UK, Australian and New Zealand Government and the European Union and applied in many countries across the world from Sweden, Finland and Germany to Russia, South Africa and Japan.  

For more details see



At several showings of the film ‘The Divide`, during 2016 

Chiswick Literary Festival, September, 2016

Chilton Humanists, July, 2016

Launch of UBI report, House of Commons, June 216

Equality Trust Annual Conference, London, June, 2016

Radical Statistics Conference, York, February 2016 

University of Warwick: Festival of the Imagination, November, 2015

Bristol Festival of Ideas, November, 2015

LSE-UCL Economics Conference, November, 2015

Edinburgh Book Festival, August, 2015

Conway Hall Ethical Society, June, 2015 

Sorbonne Conference on Inequalities, Paris, April, 2015

Bristol Festival of Economics, November, 2014

Oxfam Scotland, Glasgow, September, 2014

Peter Townsend Memorial Lecture, Stroud, June 2014

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Glasgow. May 2014

Fairness Convention, Trust for London, April, 2014

Keynote speech to “The Summit for Combating Inequality”, Copenhagen, December, 2014

OECD Conference, Paris, May, 2013

Royal Society of Arts, April 2013

Closing Keynote speech, FEPS / TASC Conference, Dublin, 2013

Fabian Annual Conference, January, 2013

IPPR, May 2012

NICVA Conference, Belfast. April 2012

Address to Business Committee of the Scottish Parliament, April, 2012

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© Stewart Lansley