Press Release: Ed Miliband’s attack on Lord Freud is shameful

Commenting on Ed Miliband’s attack on Lord Freud’s comments about the disabled, Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:

Lord Freud has been shamefully mistreated by Ed Miliband. His point was that the market value of some people’s wages is below the minimum wage. This is often true of the severely disabled and can have appalling consequences for their self-esteem and quality of life. Fixing this problem was the justification for Remploy, a government-funded firm that gave jobs to disabled people who could not find work elsewhere.

To point out that someone’s market value is less than minimum wage has nothing to do with their moral value as human beings. Freud’s point was that we should help people in this situation by allowing them to find jobs paying below the minimum wage and topping up their pay directly to make up the difference.

Even if you don’t agree with this method, it is motivated by compassion for the disabled and an understanding of the unpleasant side-effects of our minimum wage laws. Freud’s only crime was to speak bluntly: it is disgraceful to use his words against him in the way Miliband has.

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Communications Manager, at kate@adamsmith.org / 07476 915072.

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’s comments on the fall of inflation to 1.2% feature in The Daily Telegraph

Research Director Sam Bowman’s comments on why the fall of inflation to 1.2% is good news were featured in The Daily Telegraph.

“It is usually concerning when the Bank misses its inflation target, but the latest figures look like the exception,” said Sam Bowman, research director of the Adam Smith Institute, a think tank.

“Inflation fell because goods such as fuel and food became cheaper globally, in real terms.

“At home, consumer demand seems healthy, so the usual dangers of low inflation do not apply.”

 

Ben Southwood’s comments on the new pension reforms feature in The Herald

The Adam Smith Institute’s Head of Policy, Ben Southwood, was quoted in The Herald, explaining the benefits of the new pension reforms that will come into effect next year.

The reforms come into force next spring and some pension experts fear a “retirement income car crash” as pensioners rush to spend their cash. But Ben Southwood, head of policy at the Adam Smith Institute, said: “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.”

Read the full article here.

Sam Bowman’s comments on the fall of inflation to 1.2% feature in The Mail Online

Research Director Sam Bowman’s comments on why the fall of inflation to 1.2% is good news were featured in The Mail Online.

The CPI figures are also good news for pensioners. In line with the the figures, state pensions will rise by 2.5 per cent or £2.85 a week next spring as the Government’s ‘triple lock’ ensures an increase of whichever is the greater out of average earnings, September’s inflation rate or 2.5 per cent.

Research Director of think-tank, the Adam Smith Institute, 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 per cent, more than double the 1.2 per cent 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.’

Read the full article here.