ASI comments on welfare reform feature in City AM

The Adam Smith Institute's call for a negative income tax has featured in City AM:

This proposal is similar to a system endorsed by the free-market Adam Smith Institute called a “negative income tax”. Some argue that it is too blunt a response to a complex world, but for those of us with a cynical view of how governments cope with complexity, this seemingly crazy idea may be worth serious consideration.

Read the full article here.

Press Release: Taking students out of net migration cap is the right move

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207. Commenting on the Chancellor's suggestion that foreign students may be taken out of net migration figures, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman said:

Taking students out of the net migration cap would be a good move, and would mitigate some the harm caused by the cap to British business.

The Adam Smith Institute has called for this for many years: it makes no sense to treat students who will only be here for three or four years in the same way as immigrants who plan to stay here for their whole lives. Of the students who arrived in 2006, only 17% remained in the UK in 2011. Britain’s education sector is world class and, here in particular, the migration cap is a cap on success.

The Chancellor is correct that the public does not object to foreign students – only 32% want student numbers reduced, compared to 64% who want low-skilled immigrant numbers reduced. But the public is even less concerned about high-skilled immigration – only 31% want less of that.

The government would be right to take students out of the net migration cap, but it should take its logic further and stop trying to restrict high-skilled immigrants as well.

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.

Kate Andrews' comments on sugar tax feature in the IBTimes

Kate Andrews, Head of Communications at the ASI, has had her comments on the proposed sugar tax featured in the IBTimes.

Kate Andrews, research fellow at the think tank Adam Smith Institute, said."Despite sugar consumption falling over the last two decades, the government still insists on involving itself in every nook and cranny of our day-to-day lives. It's not consumers, but the nanny state, that needs a set of rules to rein in its excessive behaviour. A 'centrally led reformulation programme to reduce sugar in food and drink' will put the government at the helm of what we consume daily [...] The government is meddling in decisions that are best left to parents and families."

Read the full article here.

Kate Andrews' appearance on Question Time features in the Daily Telegraph

Former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, has commented on Kate Andrews' appearance on Question Time in his weekly column:

There is no more frightening experience of British culture than having to appear on BBC Question Time for the first time. Although the programme expresses our love of free speech, it also draws on our traditional enthusiasm for other sports, like bear-baiting and bare-knuckle fighting. I first went on the show about 30 years ago, when I was in my twenties, and was terrified. So imagine my sympathy last week when Kate Andrews, of the Adam Smith Institute, was invited to appear. She had bigger obstacles to overcome than I did in the Eighties, because she is even younger than I was then, is American and was up against Ken Livingstone.

Kate is a friend of my children, and so, as a grizzled veteran of such combats, I warned her how Ken, under the guise of south-London geniality, would find time to patronise her sex, insult her nationality, and make himself out as the moderate and her as the extremist. But I had failed to predict the full extent of his effrontery. On the programme, Ken explained that it was not Islamist extremists who set off the 7/7 bombs in London in 2005, but Tony Blair’s policy towards Iraq which “killed 52 Londoners”. The actual bombers “gave their lives,” in Ken’s view, and “said what they believed”. At the same time, by pretending that he wanted “boots on the ground” in Syria from countries all over the world, Ken persuaded a significant proportion of the audience that he was the one who was truly tough on terrorism.

To her credit, Kate saw through this at once and interrupted him (a brave thing to do on one’s first Question Time) to point out succinctly how morally vile he was being. Perhaps it took a bright young foreigner not to fall for the old scoundrel. We British too often mistake a creepy chappie for a cheeky one.

Read the full article here.

Press Release: Sugar taxes will further distort the cost of living

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org | 07476 915072. Commenting on the Health Committee's report, Head of Communications and Research Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, said:

Despite sugar consumption falling over the last two decades, the government still insists on involving itself in every nook and cranny of our day-to-day lives. It’s not consumers, but the Nanny State, that needs a set of rules to rein in its excessive behavior.

A “centrally led reformulation programme to reduce sugar in food and drink” will put the government at the helm of what we consume daily. The Department of Health’s bureaucrats lack the qualifications to determine the sugar measurements that belong in each kind of food; and they are one step away from being given the authority to ban outright products they deem too unhealthy for consumption.

Furthermore, taxing sugar is regressive, and the poor will be most painfully affected by the price hike. There is little evidence that taxing sugary food cuts down on consumption rates; it simply forces the low-paid to shove out more at the supermarket, further distorting their cost of living.

The government is meddling in decisions that are best left to parents and families.

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.

Kate Andrews' comments on BBC Question Time feature in a BBC News article

Kate Andrews, Head of Communications at the ASI, has had her comments from BBC Question Time featured in a BBC News article. She was responding to Ken Livingstone's comments on the 7/7 bombings.

Conservative Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock, who was also on the panel, said Mr Livingstone was letting IS and other violent militant groups "off the hook" while Kate Andrews, from the Adam Smith Institute, said he was "accepting their excuses".

Read the full BBC News article here.