Kate Andrews discusses Jeremy Corbyn’s call for kinder politics on BBC Radio 4 World Tonight

Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 on whether or not kindness has a place in politics. She argues that although kindness towards others personally is important, Corbyn’s suggestion for kinder politics in general should not be allowed to compromise healthy debate, which leads to better policies.

“What we should not confuse is kindness towards other people personally, and still being able to have serious, firm, and sometimes ruthless discourse when it comes to discussing the issues.”

Listen to the full discussion here. (starts 36:45)

Have the Tories won the centre ground? | Madsen Pirie argues NO in City AM

President of the Adam Smith Institute, Dr. Madsen Pirie, wrote for City AM on why the Conservative Party have not yet managed to occupy the centre ground despite copying a number of Labour initiatives.

In his conference speech, he poached a Labour initiative, the National Infrastructure Commission, headed by ex-Labour peer Lord Adonis.

This wrong- foots Labour, taking popular and distinctive policies out of their hands. But it also passes up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Read the full article here.

Sam Bowman writes for the IB Times on Osborne’s national living wage policy

Sam Bowman, Deputy Director at the Adam Smith Institute, has written an article for the International Business Times on how the Conservative Party’s flagship ‘living wage’ policy is is a magic money tree policy itself.

The chancellor’s logic is this: working tax credits “subsidise” firms by allowing them to pay their workers less. Reduce the subsidy, and raise the minimum wage, and firms will be forced to pay their workers more. The government spends less and firms spend more, and workers don’t feel the difference.

Virtually none of this is true. Tax credits do not subsidise firms, raising the minimum wage does not magic more money from firms to workers and even if it did it would hardly offset the tax credit cuts at all.

Read the full article here.

Sam Bowman discusses the devolution of business rates on BBC 5 Live

Deputy director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, discusses why devolution of business rates may not make that much of a difference to business owners, and argues the merits of a land value tax system instead.

If and when they do revalue business rates, theres a disincentive to anybody who is a business or is a land owner to improve the property that they’re on, and we don’t want that. What we want is them to only be paying the value of the land, and to try and get as much as possible from that land, by building as much on that property or the most profitable thing they possibly can. We’d get that with a land value tax, we don’t really get that really from business rates.

Listen to Sam’s full interview here. (Starts 27:17)

Press Release: Let councils replace business rates with a tax on land values

For Immediate Release | For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews at kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778 207

Commenting on the devolution of business rates to local councils, Sam Bowman, Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute said:

“What few people, including the Chancellor, seem to realise is that often, it isn’t businesses who bear the cost of business rates, but landowners. Over time, most of any cut in business rates will be offset by a proportionate rise in rents – meaning that it’s predominantly the landlords who benefit from cuts and lose out from rises, not businesses.(eg http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/2658/ and http://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/mirrleesreview/design/ch16.pdf) Most of the debate around today’s announcement will ignore this crucial fact.

“Business rates discourage investment, because they tax the value of property, and not just the land it is built on. A better idea would be to merge the council tax and business rates systems into a simple tax on land values. This would prevent distortion between whether land is used for residential or commercial purposes, and ensure that business investment is not discouraged. Revaluations can, and should, be done on a regular basis – council tax is in particular need of a revaluation, having never been reviewed since it was first set up in 1993.

“Business rates are far from the ideal. The government would be wise to reform and simplify the current system, to address discrimination between commercial and residential land use.”

Notes to editors:

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