Social Market Foundation

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Social Market Foundation
SMF LOGO RGBcolour.jpg
Abbreviation SMF
Motto "We believe that fair markets, complemented by open public services, increase prosperity and help people to live well."[1]
Formation 1989; 28 years ago (1989)
Founder Daniel Finkelstein
Type Think tank
Registration no. 1000971[2]
Legal status Charity[1]
Purpose "To advance the education of the public in the economic, social and political sciences"[1]
Headquarters 11 Tufton Street, Westminster, London, United Kingdom[1]
Coordinates 51°30′26″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5073509°N 0.12775829999998223°W / 51.5073509; -0.12775829999998223Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°07′40″W / 51.5073509°N 0.12775829999998223°W / 51.5073509; -0.12775829999998223[1]
Fields Cost of Living, Productivity, Financial Services, Public Sector Reform[1]
Official language
James Kirkup[1]
Chief Economist
Scott Corfe[1]
Research Director
Nigel Keohane[1]
Mary Ann Sieghart (Chair), Baroness Olly Grender, Nicola Horlick, Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE, Matthew d'Ancona, Professor Tim Bale, Peter Readman, Rt Hon Baroness Gillian Shephard[1]
Secessions Centre for Global Studies[3]
Affiliations Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats[1]
Expenses £609,148[2]

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) is an independent British public policy think-tank based in Westminster, London. It is one of the 'Top 12 Think Tanks in Britain'[4] and was named 'UK Think Tank of the Year' by Prospect in 2012.[5] Its purpose is to "advance the education of the public in the economic, social and political sciences" and to "champion ideas that marry a pro-market orientation with concern for social justice".[1] Policy ideas are based on the concept of the social market economy.


Founded in 1989, the organisation was cited as ‘John Major's favourite thinktank’[6][7] and two former directors, Rick Nye and Daniel Finkelstein, left to work for the Conservative Party.[8]

In the 1990s it moved closer to New Labour, with Gordon Brown giving a speech about 'social markets' at the Foundation in 2003,[8] and SMF publishing a paper by Gordon Brown in 2004.[9] In 2001, Robert, Lord Skidelsky was replaced as chair by David, Lord Lipsey. It was associated with some of the policies of New Labour, particularly issues of public service reform.[citation needed]

In September 2010 Mary Ann Sieghart, the political and social affairs journalist, took over as Chair.

Policy goals[edit]

The SMF’s remit is to focus on domestic public policy, particularly the public services and welfare. The majority of publications are therefore focused on issues concerning education, health care and employment. However it also produces publications on wide-ranging subjects such as road-pricing, casinos and energy policy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Home, The Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank - Social Market Foundation". Social Market Foundation. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Charity overview". Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Hope, Toby Helm and Christopher (6 October 2017). "The top twelve think tanks in Britain". Retrieved 6 October 2017 – via 
  5. ^ Prospect. "Think Tank of the Year Awards 2012". Retrieved 6 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Shrimsley, R (1995), 'Defector from SDP to head Tory research', Financial Times, August 24, p. 7
  7. ^ "Mr Major's Speech to the Social Market Foundation". John Major. 9 September 1994. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Social Market Foundation". New Statesman. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Gordon Brown (May 2004). A Modern Agenda for Prosperity and Social Reform (PDF) (Report). Social Market Foundation. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 

External links[edit]