A British basic income? Green leader Natalie Bennett is a bad advocate of a good improvement to the welfare system – Sam Bowman writes for the International Business Times

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman makes the argument for a British basic income in The International Business Times:

As most people laughed at Natalie Bennett’s car-crash interview with Andrew Neil this weekend, in which the Green Party leader appeared to have no grasp of any of the numbers behind her policies, a few unlikely viewers were wincing.

Her craziest-sounding policy, to give a “basic income” of £72 a week to everyone in the country regardless of income at a cost of £280bn to the Exchequer, has some surprising supporters on the free market right.

Many free marketeers, including Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, favour a form of welfare known as a “Negative Income Tax“. This would replace existing benefits aimed at alleviating poverty like tax credits and jobseekers allowance with a single automatic payment that is tapered off according to earnings.

Read the full article here.

Ben Southwood’s comments on eurozone QE feature in The Mail Online

Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, was quoted in The Mail Online on the eurozone’s decision to print 60 billion a month to fight deflation.

Ben Southwood, head of research at thinktank the Adam Smith Institute, said: ‘Quantitative easing cannot solve many problems, but there is precisely one it can tackle—deflation brought about by central bank incompetence, like that we are now seeing across the eurozone. That was what caused the Great Depression in the 1930s and easier money can reverse it.

‘What’s more, the structural problems economists have identified in Europe are very real. Even before the crisis, countries like Italy and France were hamstrung by tight labour market regulations that kept unemployment close to 10 per cent. Changing these can enhance growth in the short and long run, and QE should be combined with rigorous reform so that long-term growth can be achieved.’

Read the full article here.