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The Adam Smith Institute condemns the Government's proposals for selling off state-owned forests for being too timid

By Jonathan Isaby

Adam Smith Institute ASI logo The Government has come under fire from many quarters for its plans to potentially sell off some forests which are currently state-owned.

Yet today comes criticism from another angle: Miles Saltiel of the Adam Smith Institute has published a critique, Seeing the Wood for the Trees, which condemns the Government for not going far enough in its plans.

He states:

"The consultation document put out by DEFRA is timid and relatively unambitious. It has sought to pre-empt objectors with the expedient of allocating high-profile woodlands to “civil society” or charitable bodies free of charge, failing to follow best practice elsewhere. This is irresponsible to the long-suffering taxpayer.

"Instead, DEFRA should follow the option already identified for the majority of the national forest and sell or lease it all, subject to covenants and arms-length regulation, guaranteeing public policy objectives and raising an estimated £4.3bn. If the purpose is to restore heritage and suchlike woodlands to the public, better to do so directly through a programme of “voucher privatization”, rather than indirectly through the intermediate bodies of self-elected charities or hard-pressed local authorities."

Click here to download the pdf of the report.

> Tim Montgomerie's defence of the Government's plans

> Stanley Johnson: The Government's plans to sell off England's forests are a disaster in the making


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