Press Release: For once, missing the inflation target is a good thing

Commenting on today's fall in inflation to 1.2%, Sam Bowman said:

It’s usually a bad thing when the Bank of England misses its inflation target but today’s figures look like the exception. The fall appears to be due to supply side factors like cheaper fuel and food. On the demand side, inflation seems healthier and closer to being on target, and this is what counts from the macroeconomic point of view. All in all, good news and not something that should cause any panic.

What this does highlight is the absurdity of the government’s pensions triple lock. Pensions are now rising by 2.5%, more than double the 1.2% inflation rate. This would be unsustainable and unnecessary at the best of times, but at a time when tax revenues are worryingly weak this is totally profligate and unsustainable.

Old people have been spared most of the pain of austerity, perhaps for the obvious reason that the grey vote is so powerful, but throwing money at them like this is going totally overboard. As Britain’s population gets older, the demands of the triple lock will become increasingly difficult to meet, and it should be abandoned to help restore stability to Britain’s public finances.

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.

 

 

Press Release: Letting people spend their pensions how they want is a good idea

Commenting on the pension reforms being set out today, Head of Policy at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, said:

Letting people decide what to do with their own money is almost always a good idea, and this reform is no exception.

It's only a small move, but giving people more flexibility over how they spend the money they've saved through their life is positive—a step forward when so many pension reforms over past decades have been steps backward.

The system is a complicated mess, and anything we can do to make it clearer to people how they will be able to use their savings when they retire is a good move.

Why would people have saved up over such a long time only to blow it all? If we trust people to spend their salary we should trust them to spend their savings.

 

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.

Sam Bowman discusses the economic benefits of TTIP on BBC 3 Counties radio

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, spoke to BBC 3 Counties breakfast programme on Saturday morning about the economic benefits that TTIP would have for the UK and the rest of the world. He also explained the importance all entities, including corporations, holding the government accountable to the law. Listen to the interview here. (Starts at 02:20:05)

Sam Bowman's criticisms of The Mayor of London's pledge to cut EU immigration are featured in CityAM

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, was featured in CityAM, criticizing the Mayor of London's plan to cut EU immigration to the UK:

And the Adam Smith Institute’s Sam Bowman called Boris’ plan “barking mad.”

“However the UK’s relationship with the EU ends up, it is vital that we preserve the freedom for people to work where they can find the best deal,” Bowman said.

Read the full article here.

Basking in glory: Why UK entrepreneurs need award ceremonies - TEN's Annabel Denham writes for CityAM

The Entrepreneur's Network's Programme Director, Annabel Denham, wrote an op-ed for CityAM explaining why entrepreneurs need to be recognised for their achievements.

ENTREPRENEURS have no lack of recognition in popular culture today: there are movies about icons like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, and Lord Sugar has now uttered “You’re fired” over 120 times on our TV screens. Politicians, meanwhile, grab any opportunity to sing business owners’ praises – with David Cameron describing them as “national heroes” in his 2013 party conference speech.

So it should come as little surprise that big business is also eager to get a slice of the action. Perhaps the most obvious manifestation is the hundreds (literally) of entrepreneur awards taking place in Britain today, each broken down into dozens of categories spanning sector, location, size and age. Cynics might view these competitions as little more than a box-ticking exercise, but the reality is that they do far more than provide great PR for the large corporates who sponsor them. Entrepreneurs work long hours, rarely take holidays, and can wait years before seeing tangible rewards. It’s vital that they continue to receive the recognition they deserve.

Read the full article here.

Press Release: Striking unions are deluded about the state of the NHS

Commenting on the NHS staff strike, Communications Manager of the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, said:

The unions taking part in today’s strike are deluded about the state of the NHS. The NHS operates on a budget; if more funds are distributed to pay staffers' salaries, spending in other areas must be cut. The only employees to be denied a 1% pay rise are those who have automatic progression-in-the-job rises as part of their contracts, yet the unions are still demanding that funds be diverted from patient care to paychecks.

There is strong evidence that the NHS could fall into a budget crisis as early as 2015 – even before the next general election – which could result in longer patient waiting lists, cuts to core staff and a depletion in the quality of public health care. But instead of addressing this looming crisis that will affect all staffers and patients throughout the UK, some unions have joined together to fight for a pay increase for workers who already benefit from guaranteed pay raises.

The consequences of their demands will be seen in the long-term as well as the short-term, as their strike threatens the quality of service patients will be provided for hours on end. What healthcare in Britain needs is a serious conversation about reforms that would make the NHS financially viable for the next ten years, let alone for future generations.

 

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.

Press Release: Boris's call to restrict EU immigration is barking mad

Commenting on the Mayor of London's call to restrict EU immigration during his interview with Andrew Marr, Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:

Boris Johnson’s call to restrict EU immigration is barking mad. EU immigration (strictly speaking, EEA immigration) has been extremely good for the UK, with European immigrants being net tax contributors despite the UK running a large budget deficit for this period, according to the best recent research on the topic by Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini. This means that EU immigration has reduced the tax burden on native Britons.

32% of European immigrants are university educated compared to 21% of British natives, European immigrants are more likely to be in work than natives, European immigrants are less likely to draw benefits (which are tightly restricted in any case). In general, there is strong empirical evidence that immigrants boost native wages by increasing total factor productivity.

Freedom of movement is one of the best things about the EU and it would be self-defeating for the UK to try to end it. However the UK’s relationship with the EU ends up, it is vital that we preserve the freedom for people to work where they can find the best deal. Boris Johnson should choose economic openness and individual liberty instead of resorting to shoddy populism.

 

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.

Sam Bowman is quoted in CityAM on the economic benefits of TTIP

The Adam Smith Institute's Research Director, Sam Bowman, was quoted in CityAM explaining the benefits of TTIP for the UK economy

The potential for huge gains from TTIP should perhaps come as no surprise considering the US and the EU together account for nearly half of world GDP.

Sam Bowman, research director at the Adam Smith Institute, said:

For all the talk of emerging markets, the US and Europe are still where the money is economically and will be for many decades.

Many policy researchers and analysts argue Europe can ill-afford to drop the baton in its badly-needed quest for competitiveness.

Bowman told City A.M.:

TTIP is the best thing in international trade for years. Unlike the ambitious, but ultimately doomed, Doha trade talks, which aim to lower trade barriers in dozens of countries at once, including many that have no fundamental attachment to the idea of free trade, TTIP focuses on two parties that are both basically on board with the benefits of trade.

Both the US and EU have tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade for political reasons (ie to protect special interests), it's true, but both are also pretty fundamentally of the view that trade enriches everyone. Indeed, as much as we like to bash the EU, this is one of the cornerstones of the vision behind the Union.

Read the full article here.

Rise of the New Libertarians: Meet Britain's Next Political Generation - Sam Bowman is interviewed by the International Business Times

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, was featured in the International Business Times' feature on the rise of young libertarians in the UK. He emphasised the ASI's focus on free market policies that benefit the poor:

Bowman has made it his own personal mission, as well as that of the ASI, to remould how people react to libertarianism. To make their ideas appeal not just to the right, but also the left.

"We've made a concerted effort. It's been conscious. We want to make our arguments on the basis of how they would affect the poor because rich people can basically look after themselves," he says.

Read the full article here.