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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

8 comments for: The Adam Smith Institute condemns the Government’s proposals for selling off state-owned forests for being too timid

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