Housing and Planning

IEA launches Breakthrough Prize – £50,000 for your 2,000 word idea to solve UK’s housing crisis



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The Institute of Economic Affairs is delighted to announce the launch of the second Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize, with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on the judging panel. First prize of £50,000 will be awarded to the best and boldest entry outlining a ‘Free Market Breakthrough’ policy to solve the UK housing crisis.

Competitors will be asked to propose a single policy initiative which would:

•    Increase the number of houses built so as to markedly reduce the housing shortage in this country (this can be reduced through increased rental or ownership).

•    Increase the number and proportion of property owners in the UK

•    Be politically possible

Submissions are welcomed from individuals, groups of individuals, academia, the not-for-profit sector and all corporate bodies. There is also a Student Prize which all students will be eligible for.

The Prize pool consists of £61,500, including a £50,000 grand prize for the winning entry, 3x £2,500 student prizes and 1x dedicated school student prize.

Richard Koch – the benefactor and supporter of the Prize – is a British author, speaker, investor, and a former management consultant and entrepreneur. He has written over twenty books on business and ideas, including The 80/20 Principle, about how to apply the Pareto principle in management and life.

Judging panel

Richard Koch, Former management consultant and entrepreneur
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Conservative MP for North East Somerset
Mark Littlewood, Director General, Institute of Economic Affairs

Commenting on the prize, Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

“Building more houses and supporting home ownership are the two great challenges for Conservatives. A property-owning democracy provides one of the most stable and prosperous forms of society. Its erosion denies people their reasonable life’s ambition.

“This issue could determine the Conservative electoral fortunes which is why we need to seek out new and exciting policy ideas and why initiatives like the IEA’s Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize are so vital.”

Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“Market-based policies have the power to dramatically change the economy and society for the greater good. The capacity and bandwith of Government has been taken over by Brexit for the past two years, but now it is time politicians looked beyond Brexit, to the pressing domestic issues of our time – arguably the most pressing of which is the cost of housing.”

Richard Koch said:

“In the twentieth century, home ownership went from one in ten Britons to seven in ten – a terrific achievement in extending a real property-owning democracy. And in the 1980s, Mrs Thatcher enabled millions of people whose families had never owned a home before to get on the property ladder.  Today that’s just not possible.

“Without everyone having a realistic chance of owning a home or significant other property, a property-owning democracy becomes impossible, and the “free market” appears rigged in favour of the rich and elderly. I’m convinced that there is a great answer out there – in your mind and imagination or someone else’s. So this year my Breakthrough Prize in association with the IEA is for you to find the answer – an exciting and radical free-market way to make owning a home possible for millions of new people.”
Notes to editors:

Submissions must be between 2,000 and 3,000 words long.

Deadline for entries is 23:59 GMT on Friday 14th September 2018 and must be sent to Claire Talbot at [email protected]

For more information about the remit and entry criteria, please visit www.breakthroughprize.org.uk

To arrange an interview about the IEA Breakthrough Prize, please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: [email protected] 020 7799 8920 or 07791 390 268

Judging panel

Richard Koch –  Richard is a former management consultant, entrepreneur, and writer of several books on how to apply the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) in all walks of life. Richard has also used his concepts to make a fortune from 3 several private equity investments made personally. Richard’s investments have included Filofax, Plymouth Gin, the Great Little Trading Company and Betfair. Previously he had been a consultant at Boston Consulting Group and later a partner at Bain and Company, before leaving to start management consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting with Jim Lawrence and Iain Evans.

Jacob Rees-Mogg –  Jacob is the Conservative Member of Parliament for North East Somerset, a set he was first elected to in 2010. During his time in Parliament he has served on the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, the Treasury Select Committee and the Procedure Committee. He set up his own company in 2007 with a group of Partners; it is called Somerset Capital Management and specialises in investment management in global emerging markets for institutional clients.

Mark Littlewood –  Mark is the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs and the IEA’s Ralph Harris Fellow. Since his appointment in 2009, Mark has been instrumental in expanding the IEA’s reach, both inside and outside Britain. He was recently ranked number 45 on the right-wing power list. Mark is recognised as a powerful spokesman for free markets and features as a regular guest on flagship political programs such as BBC Question Time, Newsnight and the Today Program. He writes a regular column for The Times and features in many other print and broadcast media such as The Telegraph, City AM and Any Questions.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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