Author of ASI paper “The Green Noose” argues for rolling back the Green Belt on BBC Radio Oxford

Senior Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute and author of “The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform”, Tom Papworth, spoke to BBC Radio Oxford about the benefits of rolling back the green belt to make room for the millions of homes needed to solve the UK's housing crisis. Listen to the interview here. (Starts 02:09:38)

The ASI report, The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform, looks at the Green Belt’s impact on England’s housing shortage. After a comprehensive review of the causes of the housing crisis, it concludes that the planning structure is out of date and in need of radical reform.

Kate Andrews questions Burnham, Hunt, and Lamb on their plans for NHS reform on Channel 4 News

Head of Communications at the Adam Smith Institute Kate Andrews appeared on Channel 4 News to ask Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham MP, Norman Lamb MP and Dr Mark Hanson if they would consider making reforms to the NHS that have been proven throughout Europe to improve patient outcomes and shorten waiting lists. Watch the full clip here. (Starts 6:14)

Press Release: This is good disinflation – but it shows the need for a new BoE target

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: | 07584 778207 Commenting on today's inflation figures, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute Ben Southwood said:

Most of the fall in CPI inflation is coming from 'supply-side' shocks like cheaper oil and food—this is good and makes everyone better off.

When inflation falls below target due to these supply-side improvements, the Bank of England should 'look through' the drop, like they looked through the continually above-target inflation of 2009-14.

The real problem is that the Bank's target requires it to constantly make judgement calls about whether inflation shocks are demand- or supply-side. What's more, since it 'lets bygones be bygones' and ignores past overshooting or undershooting of its target, this really matters.

The Bank should consider changing its macroeconomic target.

If it targeted nominal GDP (i.e. total spending) instead of inflation, it would automatically ignore dips in inflation from supply shocks and automatically fight dips in inflation from demand shocks.

If it targeted the level of nominal GDP (or just the price level) it would automatically make up for past overshooting or undershooting, so firms, consumers and financial markets can be absolutely sure about where prices or nominal GDP will be at a given point in the future.

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

Would Greece flounder if it left the Eurozone? Sam Bowman argues NO in CityAM

Deputy Director of the ASI Sam Bowman took part in the CityAM Forum debate arguing that Greece would not necessarily flounder if it left the Eurozone.

A Greek Eurozone exit would throw the country’s banks into crisis, but it may still be its least-worst option. The European Central Bank has kept money tight across the Eurozone since 2008, but this has been most acute in Greece, where nominal spending collapsed during the financial crisis and has barely recovered since. This means that wages have had to fall in cash terms across the board for employment to recover, and they still have a long way to go. This process takes an excruciatingly long time because firms tend to prefer to fire some workers instead of cutting all their staff’s wages. That means many more years – perhaps more than a decade – of high unemployment. If Greece left the euro it could get around this process by devaluing its currency, as it and the other southern European states used to do before the euro. It would be very painful in the short term, but that may be preferable to the long-term depression that the country now faces.

Read the full article here.

What the Budget means for politics - Sam Bowman writes for Economia

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman gives a Budget round-up for Economia:

There was very little in this Budget to get excited about, either positively or negatively. Against a backdrop of astonishingly high employment and a strongly growing economy was a Budget filled with tiny little giveaways to worthy, but inconsequential, causes like the church roof repair fund. Instead of the big cuts to inheritance tax that many had hoped for, the chancellor fiddled while the economy boomed.

Employment is now at both the highest level and the highest rate since records began. Since 2010, 80% of the new jobs created are full time, and wages are finally now beginning to rise above inflation. The country is growing at a decent clip and is projected to continue growing at just under 2.5% annually until 2020 at least.

The main fly in the ointment here, as it has been for years, is productivity, which is still very weak. One reason for this may be that business investment is still very low compared to its pre-crisis level; other than cutting taxes on capital (thus boosting investment) there seems to be little the government can cost-effectively do to help this.

Read the full article here.

What Today's Budget Means For British Entrepreneurs - TEN's Philip Salter writes for Forbes

Director of The Entrepreneur's Network Philip Salter gave his budget round-up in Forbes, focusing specifically on what this year's budget means for entrepreneurs.

Chancellor George is a prudent man. Despite the UK’s buoyant economy and the upcoming election, today’s Budget wasn’t the spending splurge that many were expecting. As the Adam Smith Institute’s Sam Bowman quipped: “Osborne fiddles while the economy booms”.

Of course, what the Chancellor actually announces in the House of Commons is just the tip of the iceberg. The devil is in the 124-page document. And the one thing that stands out from this is the relentless focus upon policies to try to support Britain’s entrepreneurs. This is a government fixated upon innovation and growth.

Read the full comment piece here.

The ASI's Budget reaction features in CityAM

The ASI's Budget reaction was featured in CityAM:

Some analysts called for rapid and radical action.
“Throwing more money at the demand side will not solve the housing crisis – the country needs planning reform so that it is easier to build on Green Belt land,” said Sam Bowman from the Adam Smith Institute. “The only thing this policy will Help-to-Buy is the election.”

Read the full article here.