Sam Bowman's comments on the government's plan to build homes on public land feature in CityAM and the Daily Mail

The Adam Smith Institute's Deputy Director, Sam Bowman, was quoted in CityAM and the Daily Mail on the government's proposal to commission and build homes on public sector land. From CityAM:

However, the government's latest bright idea for a fresh intervention into the housing market came in for sharp criticism.

Deputy director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:

The housing shortage does not exist because the private sector doesn’t want to build new homes – prices are rising rapidly, which signals demand is outstripping supply and there is profit to be made. The problem is that developable land is so scarce because the planning system makes it so.

Bowman argued that selling off public sector land would be a good idea, but if the private sector shows no interest in the land being sold, it's a pretty clear indication it's not somewhere people are particularly keen to live.

If the government then decides to build houses on the unsold land anyway, it would mean funneling taxpayers' money into houses nobody wants to buy. The key to alleviating Britain's housing shortage, says Bowman, is to liberalise the planning system and allow development in places where people actually want to live. In turn, that means "rolling back the green belt".

From the Daily Mail:

Sam Bowman of free market advocate the Adam Smith Institute, said: 'The housing shortage does not exist because the private sector doesn't want to build new homes. The problem is that developable land is so scarce because the planning system makes it so.'

Read the Mail Online's feature here.

Press Release: Danny Alexander's new homes would fail the Location, Location, Location test

Commenting on the government's proposal to build and sell homes on public sector land, Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:

Danny Alexander seems to have gotten the wrong end of the stick. The housing shortage does not exist because the private sector doesn’t want to build new homes – prices are rising rapidly, which signals demand is outstripping supply and there is profit to be made. The problem is that developable land is so scarce because the planning system makes it so.

Auctioning developable plots of government land for private sector construction would be a good idea, but if the private sector is not interested in the land the government is selling, it is because it is not in places people want to live. If the government goes ahead with building after the private sector has shown no interest in doing so, it means spending money it doesn’t have on homes that nobody really wants.

This announcement feels like just one more misstep by the government on planning and housing – the key is not just to build more houses, but to build more houses that people actually want to live in. The answer is to free up land in places where demand is already there – rolling the Green Belt back by a few miles around England’s cities would be the surest way to bring land and house prices down for good.

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Communications Manager, at kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778207.

The Adam Smith Institute is an independent libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

The UK's Net Migration Figures Are Nothing To Worry About - Philip Salter writes for Forbes

Director of TEN, Philip Salter, writes on the findings of their latest report, Made in the UK: Unlocking the Door to International Entrepreneurs, in Forbes

The UK’s net migration figures have come out. Plenty of people are upset because it has been calculated that on net we have 260,000 immigrants, up from 182,000 in the previous 12 months.

Prime Minister David Cameron had promised to keep net migration down to tens of thousands. Short of forcible emigration, the target was always impossible – partly because of our open borders with the EU, but also because students are included in the net migration figures. In fact, international students are the largest group of migrants from outside the EU counted in the government’s net migration figures, representing around a third of all people coming into Britain.

Students should be taken out of the net migration figures. Lord Bilimoria CBE writes as much in the foreword of a new report released today, Made in the UK: Unlocking the Door to International Graduates. Our report, which we undertook with the National Union of Students, considers the position of international students – that is, students from outside the European Union – who want to start a business in the UK.

Read the full article here.

The survey found that the UK is losing its talented international students with entrepreneurial ambitions to other countries. Although nearly half, 42%, of international students intend to start up their own business following graduation, only 33% of these students, or 14% of the total, want to do so in the UK.

'Don’t worry about net migration – worry about the young entrepreneurs we are turning away' - Philip Salter writes for Conservative Home

Director of TEN, Philip Salter, writes on the findings of their latest report, Made in the UK: Unlocking the Door to International Entrepreneurs, in Conservative Home: 

Long gone are the days when Britain ruled the waves, but there’s life in the old world yet. Just consider our universities, which remain some of the best on the planet. However, though we can attract the world’s top students we have an immigration system that boots many of them out the moment they finish studying.

Bewilderingly, students are included in the net migration figures. So today’s confirmation of the inevitable failure of David Cameron’s target of keeping net migration to the tens of thousands can only do more harm to the case for the benefits of immigration. A sizeable chunk of the additional 260,000 people in our country are students, with the latest figures showing that there were 222,941 study visas granted, including dependants, in the year ending September 2014.

Read the full article here.

The survey found that the UK is losing its talented international students with entrepreneurial ambitions to other countries. Although nearly half, 42%, of international students intend to start up their own business following graduation, only 33% of these students, or 14% of the total, want to do so in the UK.

Press Release: ASI responds to migrant benefit curbs

Commenting on David Cameron's immigration speech, Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:

The Prime Minister is right to praise immigration and we welcome the fact that he is pulling back from crude number-based targets, which have no place in a free market economy. And it is a huge relief that he does not want to end freedom of movement within the EU, which would be disastrous.

Benefits tourism is much less of a problem than most people believe, because benefits are already quite tightly restricted and most immigrants want to work. But if restricting things like tax credits, child benefit and social housing reduces people’s fears about immigration, so be it.

The two big reasons the UK has attracted so many EU migrants recently is that our economy has been doing better than expected and the Eurozone has been doing much worse than expected. Combined immigration from France, Spain, Portugal and Italy alone has exceeded 100,000 over the past year.

The economy has proved more than able to absorb these and other migrants, and to do so without hurting employment for native Britons. That is exactly what most economists would predict. But along with reforms to benefits we should make it easier for student and highly-skilled non-EU immigrants to come to the UK. Restricting access to the welfare state may be wise – restricting access to our labour markets is not.

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Communications Manager, at kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778207.

The Adam Smith Institute is an independent libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

TEN report "Made in the UK" features in the Times Higher Education Supplement

TEN's latest report, Made in the UK: Unlocking the Door to International Entrepreneurs, is featured in the Times Higher Education Supplement:

While 42 per cent of the 1,600 international graduate students polled by the National Union of Students said they wanted to set up a business after graduation, only 33 per cent wanted to start one in the UK.

Almost one-third also thought that the processes in place for international students to work once they have finished studying in the UK was worse than other countries, according to the report, titled Made in the UK: Unlocking the Door to International Entrepreneurs, which was published on 27 November.

The report, which was written in partnership with The Entrepreneurs Network thinktank, appears amid growing concerns that international students are choosing to study in the US or Australia.Opportunities for graduate employment in the UK have become more limited, following the abolition in 2012 of the post-study work visa, which allowed graduates to work for two years.

Read the full article here.

The survey found that the UK is losing its talented international students with entrepreneurial ambitions to other countries. Although nearly half, 42%, of international students intend to start up their own business following graduation, only 33% of these students, or 14% of the total, want to do so in the UK.