Kate Andrews' comments on Labour's proposed public health reforms feature in Breitbart and CityAM

Communications Manager at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, was quoted in Breitbart London and CityAM on Labour's proposals to ban a range of fatty foods and further regulate the alcohol and tobacco industries: From Breitbart London:

Kate Andrews, communications manager at the Adam Smith Institute agreed, telling City AM: “Meddling in people’s lifestyle choices can backfire: in Australia, the only country to have tried plain cigarette packaging, household expenditure on tobacco has actually increased, and there is mounting evidence that smokers have turned to even more harmful black market products.”

Read the full article here.

From CityAM:

Criticism of the speech is coming in thick and fast, with opponents saying the measures are a draconian overreach of government power and a reminder of Labour's penchant for nanny state policies.

Kate Andrews, communications manager at the Adam Smith Institute, said:

Meddling in people's lifestyle choices can backfire: in Australia, the only country to have tried plain cigarette packaging, household expenditure on tobacco has actually increased, and there is mounting evidence that smokers have turned to even more harmful black market products.

Andrews argued some of the proposals will end up being regressive:

Targeting "low-cost alcohol" hits the poor much harder than the rich, and has virtually no effect on problem drinkers, who are the least sensitive to price hikes. If Labour raise taxes on booze it will end up hurting moderate drinkers on low incomes the most.

Read the full article here.

 

Ben Southwood's comments on Osborne's budget surplus plan feature in The Huffington Post

Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, was quoted in The Huffington Post, criticising George Osborne's proposed law to require a budget surplus in 'normal years'.

Ben Southwood, head of research at the free-market Adam Smith Institute think-tank, told HuffPost UK: "It is not necessary to run a budget surplus in normal times to make the national debt sustainable, or even to make it fall steadily, as long as the UK economy is growing healthily.

"What's more, it's highly implausible that any government would be able to keep itself to such tight strictures given the temptation to boost spending or cut taxes.

"On top of this, we would usually think efficiency is best achieved when the government runs as balanced a budget as possible, letting people make their own decisions how much to spend and how much to save."

Read the full article here.

Author of ASI report “The Green Noose” speaks to BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio Kent

Tom Papworth, ASI Senior Fellow and author of new ASI report The Green Noose – An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform appeared on BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio Kent to speak about the report’s recommendation to solve London’s housing crisis by building on 3.7 percent of the Green Belt near a railway station. Listen to Tom's interview on BBC Radio Oxford here. (Starts 40:40)

Listen to Tom's interview on BBC Radio Kent here. (Starts 01:09:29)

The new 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.

ASI report "The Green Noose" is featured in the Evening Standard

The ASI’s new report The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform was featured in The Evening Standard in both a news article and as the paper's lead comment piece: From The Evening Standard:

Evening Standard comment: We may soon have to build on the green belt

Right-wing think-tank the Adam Smith Institute has reignited the debate about keeping the green belt with a report calling for it to be substantially modified.

It points out that a million new homes could be built by sacrificing 3.7 per cent of greenfield land — the belt of green space around big cities that local authorities have been able to keep free from development since 1947. Indeed one option it suggests is to open up greenfield land for building within half a mile of a railway station. It is an idea gaining currency across the political spectrum: Labour mayoral hopeful David Lammy, for example, has suggested that we must consider building on the green belt.

Demand for housing in London has increased dramatically and supply has simply failed to keep up with it. The green belt serves a useful purpose —to prevent urban sprawl — but should not be sacrosanct. In terms of environmental diversity, not all green spaces are of equal worth: some brownfield sites are far more valuable as habitat than intensively farmed land. It is worth considering whether building on land around railway stations could meet demand for commuter homes.

At the same time, there are other options than giving up the green belt to increase the housing supply. Many developers sit on land they already own in order to maximise its future value rather than using it. There are other ways of creating sustainable housing, such as plans for new “garden cities”. There are also ways of building more intensively within London that could use space far more productively.

The suggestion of building on the green belt is inevitably controversial and would trigger major local battles were any government to pursue it. But this is a debate we need to have: to meet demand for housing, we must now look at every possible option open.

Also from The Evening Standard:

MPs attack plan by think-tank for green belt London homes A plan to tackle the housing crisis by building a million London homes on London’s green belt was blasted by MPs today. 
The Adam Smith Institute called for the development of 3.7 percent of city green belt land within 10 minutes walk of a railway station.
The Right-leaning think-tank argued that this designated special protection is damaging other parts of the city.
But Greenwich and Woolwich labour MP Nick Raynsford said: “The idea you can nibble away at the green belt without long-term consequences is wrong. The reason it was put in place is to safeguard England rom urban sprawl.”
The institute branded the current planning structure out-of-date and called for radical reform.
But Ilford North Tory MP Lee Scott said: “There are a lo of brownfield sites that could be built on, including some very close to stations.”
Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, called the plan “too blunt an instrument”. He added: “We need a safety belt around London to ensure it does not suffer the urban sprawl prevalent in the US."

The new 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.

ASI Fellow's comments on PM's encryption plan feature in The Guardian

Preston Byrne, Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, was quoted in The Guardian on the problems with David Cameron's encryption plans, which could include banning messaging apps that the government does not have access to:

Preston Byrne, the chief operating officer of Eris Industries, warns that his company will be forced to leave the UK if Cameron’s comments on the technology become policy, and move to “more liberal climes such as Germany, the U.S., the People’s Republic of China, Zimbabwe, or Iraq.”

Byrne, who is also a fellow at the London-based free-market think tank ASI, told the Guardian that “secure open-source cryptography is at the core of our business… so we were able to make the decision more or less immediately.”

Eris Industries uses technology loosely based on the bitcoin cryptocurrency to build a decentralised network, with potential applications in communications, social networking and community governance. But, Byrne warns, “none of these benefits can be realised without secure cryptography, including end-to-end encryption.

“David Cameron has said this measure is designed to ‘modernise’ the law. He fails to understand the full extent of how out of date the law is. The only way you can shut down cryptographic distributed networks today is to either arrest the vast majority of (or in the case of a blockchain database, all) persons running a node and ensure that every single data store containing a copy of that application database is destroyed; or shut down the Internet.”

As a result, he tells the Guardian, “I’d be very surprised if the Conservatives stick to their guns on this.”

Read the full article here.

Press Release: Nanny has gone mad

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Communications Manager Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778207. Commenting on Andy Burnham's upcoming speech on Labour's new approach to public health, Communications Manager at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, said:

Labour's proposed restrictions on alcohol, sugar and tobacco are deeply illiberal and may even be counterproductive. Labour is not even in government and already it is drunk on power.

Meddling in people's lifestyle choices can backfire: in Australia, the only country to have tried plain cigarette packaging, household expenditure on tobacco has actually increased, and there is mounting evidence that smokers have turned to even more harmful black market products.

Targeting "low-cost alcohol" hits the poor much harder than the rich, and has virtually no effect on problem drinkers, who are the least sensitive to price hikes. If Labour raise taxes on booze it will end up hurting moderate drinkers on low incomes the most.

Labour's claims that these announcements are about making people take responsibility for their own health are laughable. They are about interfering in the private lives of grown adults in the name of 'public health'. If strains on the NHS have driven these restrictions, it is time to have a serious conversation about the reforms needed to make the NHS sustainable in the year to come, let alone for the next decade. We cannot pass the buck to an increasingly power-mad nanny.

Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Communications Manager, at kate@adamsmith.org / 07584 778207.

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.

ASI report "The Green Noose" is featured in The Times

The ASI's new report The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform features in two articles from The Times. From The Times:

Green belts around cities should be stripped of their protected status to allow the construction of more than two million homes, according to a free-market think-tank.

Protecting the green belt benefits the “few rich enough to be able to afford to live in or near them” and puts greater pressure on urban green space enjoyed by far more people, the report by the Adam Smith Institute says.

The institute calculates that a million homes could be built on the outskirts of London, within walking distance of a railway station, by sacrificing just 3.7 per cent of the capital’s green belt.

Read the full article here.

Also from The Times:

However, despite the slowing pace of UK annual house price growth, Shelter, the homeless charity, warned that high prices were keeping would-be buyers out of the market. Campbell Robb, its chief executive, said: “It’s no surprise that home ownership in the UK is now below the European average.”

The figures were published as the Adam Smith Institute, the think-tank, said that London’s housing crisis could be eased by building one million homes on the 3.7 per cent of the green belt that is within walking distance of a railway station.

Read the full article here.

The new 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.

Loosen the Green Belt and solve the housing crisis - Author of ASI report "The Green Noose" writes for Conservative Home

Author of new ASI report The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, Tom Papworth, details the report's findings in a comment piece for Conservative Home.

Britain is facing a housing crisis. Homes are absurdly expensive – especially near our most prosperous cities, exactly where we need to be attracting new, young, talented workers.

The government expect that around 2.5 million new households will form over the next decade (not, contrary to popular myth, as a result of immigration, but due to the fact that young people are leaving home, pensioners are living longer and households are on average smaller). But best projections are that only around 1.4 million properties will be built over the next decade. Where can we fit the extra million homes?

The problem is not a shortage of land. Contrary to another popular myth, Britain is neither particularly densely populated, not is it over-developed. The population density of the UK is similar to that of Germany and less than Belgium, Japan or the Netherlands.

Read the full article here.

The new 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.

ASI report "The Green Noose" is featured in The Daily Telegraph

New ASI report The Green Noose: An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform features in The Daily Telegraph. From The Daily Telegraph:

Green belt land within half a mile of a train station should be developed for housing because it only benefits the wealthy, according to a right-wing think tank.

With millions of new homes required over the next decade, the Adam Smith Institute has calculated that only a small percentage of Green Belt land would be needed to solve the housing crisis.

The proposals are likely to raise concerns among campaigners who believe that woodland and farmland in the Green Belt is an important feature of the British countryside.

The paper’s author Tom Papworth estimated that the 2.5 million new homes required over the next ten years could be built on just 2 per cent of the country’s Green Belt land.

Read the full article here.

The new 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.

Author of ASI report "The Green Noose" appears on the Today Programme

Tom Papworth, ASI Senior Fellow and author of new ASI report The Green Noose - An analysis of Green Belts and proposals for reform appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme to debate the report's recommendation to solve London's housing crisis by building on 3.7 percent of the Green Belt near a railway station.

The new 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.