Press Release: Striking unions are deluded about the state of the NHS

Commenting on the NHS staff strike, Communications Manager of the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, said:

The unions taking part in today’s strike are deluded about the state of the NHS. The NHS operates on a budget; if more funds are distributed to pay staffers' salaries, spending in other areas must be cut. The only employees to be denied a 1% pay rise are those who have automatic progression-in-the-job rises as part of their contracts, yet the unions are still demanding that funds be diverted from patient care to paychecks.

There is strong evidence that the NHS could fall into a budget crisis as early as 2015 – even before the next general election – which could result in longer patient waiting lists, cuts to core staff and a depletion in the quality of public health care. But instead of addressing this looming crisis that will affect all staffers and patients throughout the UK, some unions have joined together to fight for a pay increase for workers who already benefit from guaranteed pay raises.

The consequences of their demands will be seen in the long-term as well as the short-term, as their strike threatens the quality of service patients will be provided for hours on end. What healthcare in Britain needs is a serious conversation about reforms that would make the NHS financially viable for the next ten years, let alone for future generations.

 

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.

Press Release: Boris's call to restrict EU immigration is barking mad

Commenting on the Mayor of London's call to restrict EU immigration during his interview with Andrew Marr, Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, said:

Boris Johnson’s call to restrict EU immigration is barking mad. EU immigration (strictly speaking, EEA immigration) has been extremely good for the UK, with European immigrants being net tax contributors despite the UK running a large budget deficit for this period, according to the best recent research on the topic by Christian Dustmann and Tommaso Frattini. This means that EU immigration has reduced the tax burden on native Britons.

32% of European immigrants are university educated compared to 21% of British natives, European immigrants are more likely to be in work than natives, European immigrants are less likely to draw benefits (which are tightly restricted in any case). In general, there is strong empirical evidence that immigrants boost native wages by increasing total factor productivity.

Freedom of movement is one of the best things about the EU and it would be self-defeating for the UK to try to end it. However the UK’s relationship with the EU ends up, it is vital that we preserve the freedom for people to work where they can find the best deal. Boris Johnson should choose economic openness and individual liberty instead of resorting to shoddy populism.

 

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.

Sam Bowman is quoted in CityAM on the economic benefits of TTIP

The Adam Smith Institute's Research Director, Sam Bowman, was quoted in CityAM explaining the benefits of TTIP for the UK economy

The potential for huge gains from TTIP should perhaps come as no surprise considering the US and the EU together account for nearly half of world GDP.

Sam Bowman, research director at the Adam Smith Institute, said:

For all the talk of emerging markets, the US and Europe are still where the money is economically and will be for many decades.

Many policy researchers and analysts argue Europe can ill-afford to drop the baton in its badly-needed quest for competitiveness.

Bowman told City A.M.:

TTIP is the best thing in international trade for years. Unlike the ambitious, but ultimately doomed, Doha trade talks, which aim to lower trade barriers in dozens of countries at once, including many that have no fundamental attachment to the idea of free trade, TTIP focuses on two parties that are both basically on board with the benefits of trade.

Both the US and EU have tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade for political reasons (ie to protect special interests), it's true, but both are also pretty fundamentally of the view that trade enriches everyone. Indeed, as much as we like to bash the EU, this is one of the cornerstones of the vision behind the Union.

Read the full article here.

Rise of the New Libertarians: Meet Britain's Next Political Generation - Sam Bowman is interviewed by the International Business Times

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, was featured in the International Business Times' feature on the rise of young libertarians in the UK. He emphasised the ASI's focus on free market policies that benefit the poor:

Bowman has made it his own personal mission, as well as that of the ASI, to remould how people react to libertarianism. To make their ideas appeal not just to the right, but also the left.

"We've made a concerted effort. It's been conscious. We want to make our arguments on the basis of how they would affect the poor because rich people can basically look after themselves," he says.

Read the full article here.

Sam Bowman's comments on national insurance contributions feature in the FT Advisor

Research Director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, was quoted in the FT Advisor on the benefits of taking minimum wage earners out of national insurance tax.

Sam Bowman, research director of the Adam Smith Institute, added that national insurance contributions are not affected by this threshold rise.

"Raising that threshold and pegging the new NI and income tax thresholds to the minimum wage rate should be the next government's top priority to beat the scourge of low pay once and for all."

Ben Southwood's comments on 'Buy British Day' feature in CityAM

Head of Policy at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, highlighted the problems with 'Buy British Day' in CityAM.

The father of modern economics Adam Smith wrote: "In every country it always is and must be the interest of the great body of the people to buy whatever they want of those who sell it cheapest".

His writings find voice today in the think tank that bears his name. Head of policy at the Adam Smith Institute Ben Southwood commented:

If people get satisfaction from buying British off their own bat then, there's no problem with that—but that is no reason to encourage them.

Globalisation and the worldwide division of labour have lifted hundreds of millions in the developing world out of poverty, and simultaneously added hundreds of millions of customers onto the world market.

Adam Smith and David Ricardo's theories of free trade are no less true today than they ever were.

Read the full article here.

Ben Southwood’s comments on Labour’s proposed mansion tax are featured in CityAM

Head of Policy at the Adam Smith Institute, Ben Southwood, was quoted in two CityAM articles, criticizing Labour's proposed mansion tax:

In the wake of Ed Miliband's speech to the Labour party conference last week, the Adam Smith Institute's head of policy Ben Southwood said:

Labour’s proposal to tax expensive houses and hypothecate the funds for the NHS is bizarre. Although property value taxes are among the least inefficient taxes, and shifting the burden from costlier taxes like stamp duty land tax, corporation tax and income tax is a good idea, we already have a perfectly good property tax system: council tax.

Read the full article here.

Miliband’s proposals have come under fire from economists and homeowners. Adam Smith Institute’s head of policy Ben Southwood dubbed the measures “bizarre” and former Eng­land footballer Sol Campbell said he might join the Conservatives.

Read the full article here.