Free Societies

U.K.’s Adam Smith Institute Wins on Cutting Red Tape during COVID-19 Pandemic

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Atlas Network partner Adam Smith Institute in the United Kingdom has worked tirelessly to watchdog the government’s response to COVID-19, proposing solutions to keep businesses open throughout the lockdowns and involving the private sector in testing and vaccine rollout. They produced seven studies on COVID-related policies, including on improving testing and vaccination, cutting red tape, post-pandemic economic recovery, and public opinion. Their reports were cited by policymakers as an influential part of easing some lockdown strictures and privatizing parts of the response.

One of Adam Smith Institute’s focuses was cutting red tape around struggling businesses, especially restaurants. They succeeded in this with the Business and Planning Act of 2020 and the 2021 budget. The first allowed restaurants to serve food in open-air environments and sell alcohol with to-go orders, while the budget included tax deductions for capital investments. The government also adopted 12 out of the 22 recommendations for improving the vaccine rollout. The institute aims to reach one million people with their material on how the free market can provide solutions for pandemic-caused economic disruption.

Their work also helped reverse bad policy, including the invasion of privacy through a track and trace app.

Atlas Network supported Adam Smith Institute’s efforts with a grant.