Have a free market solution to poverty? Then you could be £50,000 richer

Jake Cordell
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Homeless man sits on staircase
The Institute of Economic Affairs are searching for a solution to domestic poverty (Source: Getty)

A top free market think tank has partnered with one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs to launch a nationwide competition in search of ways to reduce poverty.

The “Breakthrough Prize” - launched today by The Institute of Economic Affairs and serial investor and multi-millionaire Richard Koch - is on the lookout for a single idea “that will exuberantly and openly seek new, exciting free market solutions to improve the prosperity of the bottom third in advanced economies.”

Koch, who made his fortune investing in the likes of Betfair and Plymouth Gin, and who also founded LEK Consulting, said: “Life for the less fortunate third of the population in the UK and other rich countries is not improving at the rate it can and should. The reason is nobody has come up with a simple, radical, free market idea to make the difference.”

Read more: PwC wants public tax returns to address poverty

The competition, which will run until January, comes with a £50,000 prize for the best idea and will be judged by a panel including former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and Jeremy Browne, ex-Lib Dem minister and now the City of London Corporation's representative in Brussels.

Browne said: “The changing nature of modern economies has made many people feel more insecure and less optimistic about their personal financial circumstances.

“The task now is not simply to assert the benefits of liberal economics, important though that remains, but to understand too why concerns exist about its value, and to meaningfully address those concerns.”

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