Somehow, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) enjoys charitable status, which means they are not required to disclose who funds them. This allows the IEA to carry out its work of lobbying for deregulation without being accused of a conflict of interest.
Charities, of course, are not permitted to be politically partisan. So, the IEA decision to publish a report with the Taxpayers’ Alliance on “Policy Proposals for a Conservative Manifesto”, and to put out a press release entitled “Labour’s manifesto pledges would add at least £40bn to public spending”, were in breach of Charity Commission guidelines. As a result the regulator insisted that these were withdrawn.
The IEA’s report “The Crack Cocaine of Gambling?”, which called into question the demonstrably addictive features of £100 a spin FOBTs in betting shops, suggests a commercial relationship with the bookmakers that the IEA’s charitable status has concealed.
It is laughable that the report’s author, Chris Snowdon, writes for Spectator Health when he is effectively a lobbyist for the tobacco, sugar and gambling industries by proxy. It says a lot about the Association of British Bloodsuckers (aka Bookmakers) that only the IEA are prepared to make their case for them, an organisation for whom freedom only means freedom for corporations.
The BBC should cease inviting anyone from the IEA onto its programmes until the IEA declares all funding sources.
Content produced and sponsored by Stop the FOBTS.