“Should Samantha Cameron give up her day job?” – Dr Eamonn Butler argues no in The Observer

Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Dr Eamonn Butler, took part in The Observer‘s weekly debate, arguing that Samantha Cameron should not resign from her position at Smythson, regardless of her husband’s position on tax avoidance.

Eamonn exchanged e-mails with Heather Stewart, The Observer’s economics editor, who argued that she should step down.

Eamonn’s first response:

Stop beating up innocent people. David Cameron is not his wife’s custodian, nor she his. She should be commended for going out and getting a job, where she at least might pick up some understanding of the issues facing business and the everyday tribulations of people in work – useful, given how insulated our politicians are. She is an employee, a creative adviser, not one of the bosses who makes decisions about her employer’s finances. No doubt if she worked on the checkout in Tesco you’d be telling her to resign over the company’s financial fraud investigation or the moans about how it treats its suppliers. Smells like pure politics. Focus on the real issue. What’s wrong here is our high and complicated taxes that drive firms to base themselves abroad. It’s a free world and that’s perfectly legal, but who can blame them?

Read the full debate here.

Syriza’s plan for the Greece falls short: Grexit must not be ruled out – Sam Bowman writes for CityAM

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, wrote a comment piece for CityAM on Greece’s options, including leaving the euro, as its economy continues to suffer.

After the failure of the new Greek finance minister’s tour of Europe’s capitals this week to produce a workable debt deal, Greece’s situation now seems terminal. Greece has an unemployment rate above 25 per cent, a debt-to-GDP ratio of almost 200 per cent and deflation of 2.6 per cent. The country’s economy has shrunk by 23 per cent since 2008.

The big mistake of the Troika – the European Union, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) – was to assume that “structural reforms” to the Greek economy, tied to massive bailouts in 2010 and 2011, would be enough to generate growth in the face of persistent deflation.

To be sure, those reforms were desirable. Labour market liberalisations have made it cheaper to hire and fire workers, boosting employment, and pension reforms have improved Greece’s long-term fiscal position.

Read the full article here.