Is John Whittingdale's appointment bad news for the BBC? - Sam Bowman argues YES in CityAM

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman argued that the appointment of John Whittingdale as culture secretary could be bad news for the BBC in the CityAM debate:

John Whittingdale has described the licence fee as being “worse than a poll tax,” and wants to decriminalise non-payment. That is a good idea: 10 per cent of magistrate court cases are for licence fee non-payment. Every week that means 3,000 people are fined and one person is jailed. Women make up about 70 per cent of convictions and half of those jailed. The BBC was never meant to be the £5bn behemoth that it has grown into. If there is any case for a mandatory public broadcaster at all, it is for one that produces worthy content that the market would not provide otherwise. But most of its budget goes on things like Doctor Who and The Voice, which the private sector would produce if the Beeb wasn’t. The BBC needs to be cut down to size, and the new culture secretary might be the man to do it. Whittingdale is bad news for the BBC – and that’s good news for the rest of us.

Read the full article here.

Speaker's Corner: Election Special - Sam Bowman writes for Hunger TV

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman gave his analysis of misguided political consensus leading up to the General Election to Hunger TV:

It hasn’t exactly been the most thrilling election – the main parties seem to agree on more than they disagree on. That’s understandable, but here are three areas where the political consensus might be amazingly wrong:

Read the full article here.

Dr Eamonn Butler is quoted on Adam Smith and the 21st century in The Scotsman

Director of the Adam Smith Institute Dr Eamonn Butler responds to Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca's poem about Adam Smith in The Scotsman.

Dr Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute, said of the poem: “It’s a nice, sympathetic portrait of Adam Smith, but the economics aren’t quite right. Globalisation is nothing new – Smith himself in 1776 pointed out that even the ‘rough woollen coat’ of a ‘day-labourer’ involved the labour of thousands of people, across many continents. And are we missing the Invisible Hand by which our self-interested market transactions actually produce mutual benefit? A little, but only because markets are being distorted by politicians who mistakenly think they can do better. But the best laid schemes o’ rodents and ­rulers gang aft agley.”

Read the full article here.

Author of "The Green Noose" features in The Economist's documentary on Britain's housing crisis

The Economist's new documentary on Britain's housing crisis "A home of one's own" has featured ASI Senior Fellow and author of ASI paper The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform, Tom Papworth:

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.

The ASI's criticism of Labour's pledge to cap rents features in The Daily Mail and The Sun Online

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman was quoted in The Daily Mail and The Sun Online criticising Labour's pledge to cap rents from rising above-inflation for the next three years.

From The Daily Mail:

Sam Bowman, of the Adam Smith Institute think-tank, said rent controls were ‘a stunningly bad idea that could clobber renters’.

He said they would give landlords a huge incentive to raise rents at the start of a tenancy, adding: ‘Labour has unwittingly announced a policy that could devastate cities and exacerbate the housing crisis.’

Read the full article here.

From The Sun Online: 

But experts lined up to savage the left-wing idea, claiming it will devastate the rental market and could even lead to higher charges for tenants.

Sam Bowman, of think tank the Adam Smith Institute, said: “Labour has unwittingly announced a policy that could devastate Britain’s cities and exacerbate the housing crisis."

Read the full article here.

The ASI's criticism of Labour’s pledge to cap rents features in The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman was quoted in The Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post criticising Labour’s pledge to cap rents from rising above-inflation for the next three years. From The Scotsman:

Think-Tank hits out at Labour rent caps

Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge to cap above-inflation rent rises for three years if elected is a “stunningly bad” idea that could hurt those it is meant to help, a free market think-tank said yesterday.

The Adam Smith Institute said it would “shift risk from landlords to tenants” because it encouraged landlords to “price in” rent rises at the beginning of the tenancy.

Deputy director of the institute Sam Bowman said: “Labour has unwittingly announced a policy that could devastate Britain’s cities and exacerbate the housing crisis."

From the Yorkshire Post:

But introducing rent control was called “a stunningly bad idea that could clobber renters” and “devastate” cities, by the free-market Adam Smith Institute think tank.

Read the full article here.

ASI comments on Labour's pledge to cap rents picked up by Associated Press

Deputy Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman was quoted by The Associated Press criticising Labour’s pledge to cap rents from rising above-inflation for the next three years. The quote has featured in over 90 local print outlets.

But any rent control was called " a stunningly bad idea that could clobber renters" and "devastate" cities, by the free-market Adam Smith Institute think tank.

Deputy director Sam Bowman said the Labour proposals were "less harmful" than those criticised by Lindbeck "but shift risks from landlords to tenants.

"They incentivise landlords to price in expected rent rises at the beginning of the tenancy, so if rents fail to rise as quickly as expected, the tenant is left paying more than they would need to.

"Labour has unwittingly announced a policy that could devastate Britain's cities and exacerbate the housing crisis.

"If Labour want to reduce housing costs for renters, it should advocate planning reform to increase supply so that the price of housing drops in real terms."