Press Release: Conservative Manifesto a mixed bag for workers (minimum wage, housing and childcare)

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207

Commenting on the Conservatives’ pledge to keep minimum wage earners out of income tax, Director of the Adam Smith Institute Dr Eamonn Butler said:

It’s been an absurd part of UK tax policy that people making the minimum wage have had their earnings taxed away. The Conservatives should be applauded for making a firm commitment to keep those on the minimum wage out of income tax, regardless of future rises to the minimum wage.

However, to truly take the lowest-paid out of tax, the Tories would do well to reevaluate the National Insurance threshold, which goes into the same revenue pot as income tax yet continues to sit far below the personal allowance threshold.

Commenting on the Conservatives’ housing pledge, Dr Butler said:

The Tories are right to put the UK’s housing crisis at the heart of their manifesto and to prioritise giving low-earners the opportunity to buy their own home. But a £1 billion fund for Brownfield regeneration won’t come close to supplying Britain’s needed, and missing, homes.

The only way to create long-term affordable housing is to liberalise the planning system and allow for millions of houses to be built where people actually want to live. Building on just 0.5% of the UK’s Green Belt , for example, would be enough to fulfil UK housing needs for the next decade (though building on 1% of England’s Green Belt would fully fix Britain’s housing market by bringing prices down as well creating supply).

Commenting on the Conservatives’ childcare pledge, Head of Communications Kate Andrews said:

The cost of childcare is unaffordable for many families, but it’s government funds that are perpetuating the distorted and expensive childcare market. Providing more childcare benefits will only exacerbate the problem.

Ofsted regulations around childcare are some of the harshest in Europe, and it’s those requirements, including stringent qualification requirements and low mandatory child-to-staff ratios, that have caused prices to skyrocket.

“The Tories’ commitment to more childcare spending will probably just reenforce the vicious cycle of high costs; to truly tackle the price of childcare, the sector must be deregulated.

Notes to editors:

For more information, read ASI report “The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform“, which looks at the Green Belt’s impact on England’s housing shortage.

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

ASI comments on non-dom tax provisions feature in The Daily Telegraph

The Adam Smith Institute’s comment on non-dom tax provisions was quoted in The Daily Telegraph:

However, experts have attacked the proposals, warning that scrapping the non-dom tax status could lead to an exodus of top talent from Britain and “put the UK’s international reputation at risk”.

The Adam Smith Institute has said the plans risked “cutting off the country’s nose to spite its face”, while Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “There is a serious risk that large numbers of the international financial community, who have headquartered themselves in London at least in part because of our tax regime, will now exit the country.”

Read the full article here.

ASI briefing paper “Non-Sense: Examining the arguments and rhetoric around non-dom tax provisions“debunks the oft-quoted claims being made by politicians about non-doms and highlights the potential financial risks associated with Labour’s proposed changes to the rules.

The paper explains how Miliband’s proposed changes to the tax rules could cut government revenue, drive away investors and risk hurting middle-income migrant workers registered as non-domiciled in the UK.

Kate Andrews’s comments on compulsory voting feature in City AM

Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, was quoted in City AM on a new poll that found the majority of Britons support compulsory voting:

“It’s clear that Britons have a deep respect for the right to vote,” said head communications at the libertarian Adam Smith Institute Kate Andrews. “But that right should never be conflated with a duty for individuals to actually take part in the voting process.”

“Many argue that one could simply spoil their vote if voting were compulsory, but this does not take into account people who are choosing not to vote to protest government structure or the voting process. Indeed, not voting is the best, safest form of civil disobedience one can take part in,” Andrews argued.

Read the full article here.

ASI briefing paper “Non-Sense” features in The Daily Telegraph

New ASI briefing paper “Non-Sense: Examining the arguments and rhetoric around non-dom tax provisions” features in The Daily Telegraph:

A promise by Labour leader Ed Miliband to scrap non-dom rules “risks cutting off the country’s nose to spite its face”, a think tank report has warned.

 

In a new paper entitled “Non-Sense”, the Adam Smith Institute laid out the case for preserving the non-dom system, under which some individuals living in the UK are exempt from paying tax on foreign income that is not brought into the country.

 

Ben Southwood, head of research at the ASI, said: “Cracking down on non-doms may sound nice but proposals that sound nice aren’t always good policy.”

 

“Mr Miliband’s scheme risks making both the UK and the Treasury poorer and less fair.”

Read the full article here.

The briefing paper “Non-Sense: Examining the arguments and rhetoric around non-dom tax provisions“debunks the oft-quoted claims being made by politicians about non-doms and highlights the potential financial risks associated with Labour’s proposed changes to the rules.

The paper explains how Miliband’s proposed changes to the tax rules could cut government revenue, drive away investors and risk hurting middle-income migrant workers registered as non-domiciled in the UK.

ASI briefing paper “Non-Sense” features in City AM

New ASI briefing paper “Non-Sense: Examining the arguments and rhetoric around non-dom tax provisions” features in City AM:

Ed Miliband’s reform to the non-dom system ignores all the evidence, risks costing the country money and could make the UK less attractive to entrepreneurs.

That’s the verdict of a new briefing paper from the Adam Smith Institute that aims to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the political rhetoric surrounding non-doms.

In a speech at the University of Warwick on Wednesday, the Labour leader claimed there were around 116,000 non-doms in the UK. According to the ASI, that isn’t the whole story.

The 116,000 figure accounts for those people who filed a self-assessment form and ticked the non-dom box. However, the ASI reckons there are around  one million students and workers in the UK who don’t have indefinite leave to remain in the country and are therefore, by definition, non-domiciled.

Read the full article here.

The briefing paper “Non-Sense: Examining the arguments and rhetoric around non-dom tax provisions“debunks the oft-quoted claims being made by politicians about non-doms and highlights the potential financial risks associated with Labour’s proposed changes to the rules.

The paper explains how Miliband’s proposed changes to the tax rules could cut government revenue, drive away investors and risk hurting middle-income migrant workers registered as non-domiciled in the UK.