Media Coverage

Media Coverage


December 10, 2016

West Ham sign to be taken down - The Times

The cost of removing or covering the signs will be “relatively inexpensive” according to the LLDC, but the TaxPayers’ Alliance has said that the revelation raises more questions about the stadium being underwritten by the public purse.

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the pressure group, said: “With every new revelation, it is apparent that very little — if any — consideration was given to what was to be done with the stadium once the Olympics were over. While it’s not the fault of West Ham, who have bagged themselves a ludicrously good deal, maybe out of respect for those that paid for it, the Hammers and the LLDC could rename it the Tax payers’ Stadium.”

 

Read more here.


December 09, 2016

Councils make £756m profit in parking fees in just a year: 'Eye-watering' figure has gone up by more than a third in five years - Daily Mail

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: ‘Councils are raking it in from parking costs and motorists have every right to feel like they are being used as cash cows.

‘Funding our road system is important but there are already sky-high taxes on fuel and car ownership, so councils must be careful that they don’t heap even more pressure on to hard-pressed taxpayers. What’s also important is that local authorities do not see these charges as a way of plugging gaps in their finances, instead of taking important decisions on spending.’

Read more here.


December 08, 2016

No bins collected for up to a month over Christmas: Warning of potential 'health hazard' after rounds are put back by up to a week by cost-cutting councils - Daily Mail

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Council tax represents a large outlay for local residents each year and they want it to fund basic essential services and bin collection is about as basic as it gets.'

Read more here.


December 07, 2016

999 service turns to taxis after running out of ambulances - The Daily Telegraph

John O'Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "When times are hard, everything must be done to keep costs down and authorities must find the most efficient way of transporting patients.

"The use of taxis may well ease the pressure on the ambulance services so it isn't an inherently bad idea, but hard-pressed taxpayers will want to know that savings actually have been made."

 

Read more here.


December 07, 2016

NHS pays £430,000 salaries to stand-in bosses - The Times

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Interim appointments should only be seen as an emergency measure to plug gaps, and extended use of it betrays a lack of efficiency and forward planning which hard-pressed taxpayers cannot afford.”

 

Read more here.


December 06, 2016

Ban fat cats' secret deals, says MPs: They demand action after Mail exposes how 'old pals club' doles out public money - Daily Mail

The TaxPayers' Alliance accused Government of 'frittering away taxpayers' hard-earned money'. Chief executive John O'Connell added: 'Many of these cases quite frankly do not pass the smell test.'

Read more here.


December 05, 2016

Sugar tax could mean rise in general taxation, pressure group claims - The Daily Telegraph

John O'Connell, chief executive of the pressure group, said: "This new research just adds to the weight of evidence that shows the sugar tax is an ill-thought-out reaction to pressure from the those in the public health lobby. Lasting change will happen via a long-term cultural shift, not by burdening the poorest families with a higher cost of living.

 

Read more here.


December 03, 2016

Decision to spend £20,000 on bringing ‘Andrews’ to St Andrews slammed as “ludicrous” - The Courier

The Taxpayer’s Alliance has described a VisitScotland event, that brought 21 “Andrews” from across Europe together in the town for the weekend, as a “ludicrous” idea.

 

Read more here.


December 01, 2016

Health watchdog warns SPEED BUMPS cause extra fumes as it demands a crack down on motorists including 50mph limits on motorways to cut pollution - Daily Mail

John O’Connell of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘Lowering the levels of pollution is a worthy goal but questions need to be asked about how much of this is Nice trying to finding solutions and how much is about the body trying to justify its funding.

‘Not only are many of these recommendations patronising and almost impossible to police, they are actively trying to raise taxes on hard-pressed taxpayers.’

Read more here.


November 28, 2016

Health chiefs accused of 'wasting' £1.6m as mental health unit closes after less than 18 months - Telegraph & Argus

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Caring for mental illness is rightly being given the attention it deserves but that hasn’t stopped this cash being wasted. It’s crucial that when big, expensive projects like this are approved that they are fully thought through, so that taxpayers do not have their hard-earned money squandered.”

 

Read more here.


November 28, 2016

£100K Bank summer do WE paid for - Daily Mail

The TaxPayers’ Alliance branded the revelations a “huge slap in the face to all who struggle under Bank policies”.

Chief executive John O’Connell said: “Not only have savers had very little to celebrate over the past eight years because of rock-bottom interest rates but many will rightly be angry that staff are then spending huge sums of money on lavish parties.

“It would be right to consider these sensitivities planning any future function.”

 

Read more here.


November 25, 2016

Euro 2016 cost British taxpayer £1m as Home Office reveal police officers were sent to protect England, Wales and Northern Ireland fans in France - Daily Mail

Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, hit out at the expenditure.

‘This seems a big bill, especially at a time when savings need to be made across the whole public sector,’ he said. 

‘It’s right that the police enforce any banning orders stringently but the top brass must ensure costs are kept down and insist that these arrangements are reciprocated during any future tournament in the UK.’

Read more here


November 25, 2016

Digital training for MPs to be more tech-savvy - Sky News

However, The Taxpayers' Alliance described it as "quite a silly idea".

Harry Davies, from the organisation, said: "MPs expenses were upwards of £150 million last year and we need to be looking for savings, and this really needs to be justified if they're going to spend so much money on it."

 

Read more here.


November 25, 2016

Commons Speaker John Bercow charges taxpayer £1,060 for new suit - The Telegraph

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance: "These are yet more costly claims from the Speaker's office, after he was elected to improve the reputation of Parliament in light of the expenses scandal. 

"There are going to be times when the role of the Speaker demands formal attire, but the office must actively try and seek better deals and only claim what's absolutely necessary, so that they don't expense exorbitant items that can't be justified to hard-pressed taxpayers."

 

Read more here


November 24, 2016

Philip Hammond has gifted Britain a third decade of gross fiscal irresponsibility - City AM

If it ever truly began, it really does look like the era of austerity is over. After the savage cuts of George Osborne’s days, when current spending was slashed by an eye watering 0.2 per centPhilip Hammond has decided enough is enough.

The borrowing forecasts from yesterday’s Autumn Statement were diabolical. A surplus is now not projected within the forecast period, meaning at least 21 consecutive years of budget deficits.

If the forecasts are accurate, the national debt will have increased by more than 500 per cent since Gordon Brown started to let rip on spending in 2001. Yesterday, Hammond signalled his intent to extend this period of gross irresponsibility into a third decade.

At first glance it doesn’t appear that there has been much massaging of the figures with asset sales or shifting revenues between years, as Osborne’s statements tended to do. So perhaps we should be grateful to the chancellor for laying bare the scale of the trouble we’re in.

There will be a significant increase in public sector investment which, by the end of the Parliament, will be fractionally higher in real terms than it was in 2010-11, but current spending will continue its remorseless path upwards, hitting £780bn in 2021-22.

The headline grabbing National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) goes to show that the chancellor is not as immune to the kind of gimmicks that came to define his predecessor as some had hoped: this is simply borrowing to spend by another name.

While it is some relief that his much-anticipated infrastructure splurge was smaller than expected, it will likely have little effect anyway. There isn’t much evidence that fiscal stimulus works in open economies with free floating exchange rates, and additional government borrowing comes from funds that would otherwise be available for private sector investment.

Besides, the government has a poor record of choosing worthwhile projects. One only needs to look at HS2 and Hinkley Point and their terrible benefit-cost ratios for proof.

There is a raft of other projects that are more worthy of support from taxpayers, not least improving our road network. Completing work on the M62 would be a good start and spending within funding envelopes such as Highways England could have been brought forward.

Furthermore, speeding up the upgrade of Pacer trains on suburban railway lines and electrification programmes on suburban routes into major cities would have very good benefit-cost ratios. But, as John Kay recently wrote, these worthwhile projects wouldn’t need a dignitary to open them so are bumped down the list.

Housing also falls under the NPIF, but why on earth is the government borrowing money to spend on housebuilding? It is the government that has got the country into this crisis by blocking development through the planning system. Only substantial relaxation of height restrictions and the reclassification of sections of the green belt offer a long-term fix.

A lot will be said about the impact of Brexit – that it means the chancellor had no choice but to borrow more money. Indeed, the OBR produced a counterfactual table which claims to show the impact of a Leave vote on the public finances. It means borrowing will increase by £122bn between now and April 2021, but less than half of this is attributable to Brexit.

One glimmer of hope might be that the OBR’s forecasts are usually wrong. Maybe we will see better growth than it predicts. And given the unreliability of forecasts, it is often therefore better to focus on the policy measures. Unfortunately there was little comfort to be found here either.

There were more gimmicks than the unusually slim document suggested, such as earmarking the proceeds of the “Tampon Tax” for women’s charities and the bizarre pledge of almost £8m to renovate Wentworth Woodhouse.

But as far as new tax cuts are concerned, it’s difficult to overstate how disappointing this statement was. There were four policy decisions classed as tax cuts. The biggest one, a freeze in fuel duty, will be a welcome relief for motorists, but they will be hit with the latest hike in Insurance Premium Tax.

The other three are microscopic: £15m a year in gift aid reform, £15m a year in fiddly Business Rates relief for broadband, and £30m a year worth of relief for museums and galleries.

If the chancellor truly believes that fiscal loosening is necessary to ride out upcoming economic turbulence, then he should have cut taxes for families and businesses instead of spending more money we don’t have.

Read more here


November 24, 2016

What the Chancellor didn't tell you: You thought his national insurance changes would put £400 in your pocket... now it turns out it's only half that - Daily Mail

John O'Connell, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'It is typical of politicians to give with one hand and take away with another. This is a classic example of how an insanely complicated, opaque tax code prevents the public from understanding policies which directly affect them.'

Read more here


November 23, 2016

Daily Express - Scrap stamp duty to help first time buyers

Buying a home is stressful enough on its own and being presented with the largest single tax bill you’re ever likely to face just adds to this. Because of this punitive cost, Stamp Duty gums up the housing market and erects a barrier to families trying to get on the housing ladder - it is time to abolish it. The reforms made by George Osborne that removed the slab rates were a step in the right direction, and certainly removed some of Stamp Duty’s worst aspects, but there is a reason that there is a continued chorus of groups and people calling for it to be scrapped. 


One illustration of the problems caused by Stamp Duty is that it makes it incredibly expensive to downsize. When a couple’s children move out and they want to move to a smaller, more affordable to run, house they would have to pay a huge chunk of tax for the privilege. As a consequence they may think twice and decide against it, and this has knock-on effects. If older couples are being trapped in a relatively large home, a young family who might need the extra rooms cannot buy it and put it to its full use. People turn down better paying jobs in different parts of the country. Stamp Duty isn’t just exacerbating the housing crisis, it’s also partly to blame for our productivity puzzle.

Although abolishing Stamp Duty wouldn’t alone be enough to make housing affordable, for which many more new houses are needed, it would certainly be a step in the right direction and avoid the absurd situations like the one mentioned above.

The relatively small amount of tax this raises doesn’t come close to justifying the continued existence of this tax, it’s bad for the housing market, bad for families and needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

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September 01, 2016

The EU’s dangerous quest for tax harmonisation ignores that corporation tax itself is obsolete - City AM

Most governments would love to get their hands on an extra €13bn (£11.1bn) from a multinational company.

But the Irish government will likely be wrangling in court for many years at what will surely be considerable expense in a somewhat unusual bid to avoid collecting tax.

Read more here 


August 19, 2016

Anger at MP Grant Shapps' 'golden goodbye' after he stood down as minister - Holyrood Magazine

John O’Connell, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told PoliticsHome: "MPs know that any job in government is not a job for life.

“So when a minister stands down of their own volition there can be no justification for awarding them a large chunk of taxpayers' cash.

“When further savings need to be found across the public sector, these golden goodbyes are ripe for being cut."

Read more here


August 18, 2016

Pensioners paying £50bn annually to the Taxman - Daily Express

Dia Chakravarty of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “The tax burden has for too long been too high across the board.

“The sad truth is that successive governments seem intent on adding to that burden.”

Read more here


August 18, 2016

Anger at Grant Shapps £8k 'golden goodbye' following Tory bullying scandal - Politics Home

John O’Connell, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told PoliticsHome: "MPs know that any job in government is not a job for life.

“So when a minister stands down of their own volition there can be no justification for awarding them a large chunk of taxpayers' cash.

“When further savings need to be found across the public sector, these golden goodbyes are ripe for being cut."

Read more here


August 18, 2016

NHS paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds to managers as service reaches crisis point - The Daily Express

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Managers can play an important role in the running of the NHS but its irresponsible to be increasing their pay when front-line staff are having to tighten their belts.

“It sends completely the wrong message to staff and taxpayers who fund the eye-watering increases, especially when managers have seen the bigger pay increases over the last 5 or 6 years.

“NHS bosses know that budgets are tight and taxpayers have every right to be angry if bosses are prioritising their own salaries over funding front line services."

Read more here


August 17, 2016

Government drops all-out war on sugar but pushes ahead with its soft drinks levy - City AM

"It is welcome news that the government has dropped many of the more draconian and nanny statist measures that would only have served to bully families into line and restrict choice," Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said.

"With the exception of the sugar tax, the government has rejected the more extreme proposals and that is to be welcomed," said Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs. "An advertising ban would have been catastrophic for broadcasters and restrictions on supermarket discounts would have punished people for trying to make ends meet."

Read more here


August 17, 2016

No councillors failed to pay council tax on time in past four years - Knutsford Guardian

NO Warrington councillors have had council tax arrears or failed to pay the amount owed on time in the past four years, it has been confirmed.

On Monday, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, reminded the authority it has a 'responsibility' to remain transparent after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from the Warrington Guardian was rejected.

It asked the council to reveal which, if any, councillors have been issued with reminders or final notices for late council tax payment in the past four years.

Read more here


August 17, 2016

£10,000 trip to promote shut Gobbins in US is good value - Belfast Telegraph

Council chiefs have set aside £10,000 for a promotional visit to the US to boost a tourist attraction that has been closed for more than half its first year.

Read more here


August 16, 2016

Authority refuses to reveal which councillors failed to pay council tax on time - This is Cheshire

And Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, urged councils to be open with residents.

He said: "Council tax has risen considerably across the country and so taxpayers will be rightly angry that their money is being spent on chasing councillors who have failed to lead by example by paying their share on time.

"If some councillors are in financial difficulty then that is one thing but not playing by the rules they themselves set for residents simply cannot be right.

"Councils must also remember that they have a responsibility to remain transparent about these non-payments, so refusal to respond to FOI requests will add to residents' anger and frustration."

Read more here


August 16, 2016

New Bristol council boss costing taxpayers almost £5,000 a week, for working a four-day week - Bristol Post

"Hiring someone on a thousand pounds a day in order to make savings will certainly raise eyebrows, particularly at a time when hard-pressed families are struggling with ever-rising taxes," said Dia Chakravarty, the political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Read more here


August 15, 2016

Holiday shopping VAT adds £62 to travellers' bills - Brighouse Echo

British Air Transport Association chief executive Tim Alderslade described APD as "a departure tax on the hard-pressed British traveller", saying it was "the highest levy of its kind in Europe - by a long way".

Read more here


August 15, 2016

Family holidays are getting more and more expensive as taxes rocket - Bristol Post

An investigation by the Taxpayers' Alliance has revealed that the cost of taking a holiday abroad is becoming increasingly out of reach because of hikes in a range of taxes.

A combination of rises in air passenger duty, VAT and insurance tax mean that the amount of tax we pay on holidays abroad has risen by 40 per cent in just eight years.

Read more here


August 15, 2016

Holiday taxes cost average family over £200, study says - BT News

New research has highlighted the amount of tax we have to pay when we go away, from taxes on insurance to taxes on holiday essentials.

Read more here


August 15, 2016

Triple tax burden 'hits cost of holidays' says TaxPayers Alliance - Travel Weekly

British families going on holiday will pay a total of £2.4 billion in tax this year - £900 million more than in 2008.

The calculation that the average holidaymaker will be hit with a £61.12 tax bill came from the TaxPayers Alliance, citing increases in VAT, Air Passenger Duty and Insurance Premium Tax.

Read more here


August 15, 2016

Hospital bosses claim equivalent of a nurses salary in expenses - Bromsgrove Advertiser

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive at the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "At a time when every local hospital is having to make much-needed savings, hard-pressed taxpayers will be curious as to how some trust bosses have managed to rack up such large mileage claims.

"Of course some travel is going to be necessary in these roles, but there needs to be transparency about who is claiming for what if public and staff alike are to be confident that systems are not being exploited.

"At the end of the day, the more money that goes on expenses for the top brass, the less funding there is for frontline services, which surely ought to be everyone's priority."

Read more here


August 15, 2016

Holiday tax: families paying hundreds of pounds in hidden fees - Love Money

From airline tickets to travel insurance, we're taxed on almost every element of our holiday.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) study outlines how we're taxed on everything from airline tickets to travel insurance – and even that new holiday wardrobe.

Figures show that taxes make up a significant proportion of the cost of holidays, with the relative cost of ticket taxes in the UK being the highest in the developed world.

The overall 2016 tax bill for holidays abroad will be more than £2.4 billion, the TPA claimed.

Read more here


August 14, 2016

Could your bins get you fined? Council officials visit homes as families struggle with cuts to rubbish collections - Sunday Post

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This seems to be a bit of overkill and residents will be left wondering how this can possibly be the best use of taxpayer-funded resources. Authorities need to be much smarter about allocating resources.”

Read more here


August 14, 2016

Defence chiefs blow £91MILLION on experts as thousands of British troops face the axe - Daily Express

And Jonathan Isaby of the Taxpayer’s Alliance questioned if the MoD “had its priorities right”.

But the MoD said they hired the consultants instead of having them “in-house”.

Read more here


August 14, 2016

Firefighters have been called to rescue more than 12,000 people trapped in their bathrooms - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘People ought to understand that when they’re stuck in a bathroom, they need to call a locksmith.

‘The fire service exists to respond to real emergencies.’

Read more here


August 13, 2016

National News Holiday shopping VAT adds £62 to travellers' bills - Sutton Guardian

Mr Isaby said: "Not only is APD too high, it hits those on the lowest incomes the hardest, making it more difficult for hard-working people to get a well deserved break."

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Why British families are having to pay almost £300 more on foreign holidays in the wake of Brexit - Daily Mirror

Separate analysis by the Taxpayers’ Alliance has found holidaymakers will pay £2.4bn in tax this year - £900m more than they did in 2008.

The tax bill arises from air passenger duty, VAT and insurance tax which together have soared by up to 40 per cent.

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Holiday taxes add £131 to typical family getaway - City AM

A plethora of holiday taxes can add more than £130 to the typical family summer getaway, research by the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has found.

A combination of Air Passenger Duty (APD), the Insurance Premium Tax and the cost of VAT on holiday essentials such a sun cream and swimming costumes, sets vacationers back an extra £61.12 per adult on a trip to Europe.

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Holiday shopping VAT adds £62 to travellers' bills - Daily Mail

Families jetting off on their summer holiday could be paying out nearly £62 a head extra on their break because of taxes on the must-buy items they want for their trip, according to new figures.
VAT on holiday shopping for items such as sun cream, sunglasses and swimming shorts and the cost of Insurance Premium Tax and Air Passenger Duty comes to more than £2.4 billion, according to research from the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA).

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Families going on holiday will pay £161 taxes before they even board the plane, says report - The Telegraph

Families going on holiday will pay £161 taxes before they even board the plane, new analysis has found amid mounting pressure on Theresa May to cut VAT.

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Families pay £62 per head extra for holidays thanks to hidden taxes - Evening Standard

Families jetting off on their summer holiday could be paying out nearly £62 a head extra on their break because of taxes on the must-buy items they want for their trip, according to new figures.

VAT on holiday shopping for items such as sun cream, sunglasses and swimming shorts and the cost of Insurance Premium Tax and Air Passenger Duty comes to more than £2.4 billion, according to research from the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Holiday shopping VAT adds £62 to travellers' bills - Yahoo! Finanace

VAT on holiday shopping for items such as sun cream, sunglasses and swimming shorts and the cost of Insurance Premium Tax and Air Passenger Duty comes to more than £2.4 billion, according to research from the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA).

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Holiday shopping VAT adds £62 to travellers' bills - Asian Image

A similar family of four travelling to Florida from the UK will be hit with a £253.20 tax bill, the TPA said.

Read more here


August 13, 2016

The four great holiday rip-offs - Daily Mail

The investigation into tax rises was carried out by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

‘Families work hard and save every year so they can enjoy a week away in the sun,’ said chief executive Jonathan Isaby.

‘So hard-pressed taxpayers have every right to be angry that the taxman chases them all the way to the departure gate to squeeze that little bit extra from their budgets.’

The campaign group used figures from the Office for National Statistics and the Treasury to analyse the cost of going abroad.

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Holiday shopping VAT adds £62 to travellers' bills - AOL

Families jetting off on their summer holiday could be paying out nearly £62 a head extra on their break because of taxes on the must-buy items they want for their trip, according to new figures.

Read more here


August 13, 2016

Holiday taxes totalling £2.4m 'are adding more than £60 per person to YOUR holiday' - Daily Express

The expert findings sparked new calls on the Government to scrap the taxes it levies on most flights out of the UK which are among the highest in the world.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance totted up the VAT sales tax which families pay on holiday essentials like sun cream and swimming costumes.

They also have to fork out tax on holiday insurance as well as the Air Passenger Duty (APD) charged on most departures.

Read more here


August 12, 2016

The four great holiday rip-offs: Now stealth tax rises, currency con tricks, car hire extras and credit card swindles are making foreign trips unaffordable for British families - Daily Mail

UK holidaymakers are expected to pay £2.4billion in tax this year. Eight years ago – before the Treasury imposed the hikes – the figure was just £900million.

MPs last night called on ministers to slash the punitive taxes ‘prohibiting families from seeing the world’.

But holidaymakers are also being clobbered because:

  • More than 30 travel operators levy fees of 2 to 3 per cent on credit cards;
  • Car hire companies impose stealth charges for insurance, satnav and other ‘extras’ that can double bills;
  • Foreign retailers encourage payment in sterling, which attracts much higher transaction fees.

The investigation into tax rises was carried out by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Read more here


August 11, 2016

Clegg's £30m asylum unit is axed after just 5 years: Detention centre shut after handling just 16 cases in two years - Daily Mail

A family immigration detention centre which has cost the taxpayer at least £30million is being shut after managing just 16 deportations in two years.

Ex-deputy prime minister Nick Clegg demanded the opening of the Cedars unit in 2011.

He said the centre – which boasts facilities for children including table football, games consoles, snooker and musical instruments – was a ‘necessary part of a civilised but effective immigration system’.

Read more here


August 11, 2016

Fury as damning inspection found £6.4m migrant accommodation centre was 'little used' - Daily Express

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "While the idea behind it may have been sincere, this is a huge amount of taxpayers' money to spend on a rarely used service that seems as if it can be done at a fraction of the cost.

"No area of government should be immune from the need to cut out waste and look for savings, and this project should have been scrutinised more carefully to ensure that it was delivering value.

"It is good news that this facility is being closed down, but in the future ministers have make sure they are getting bang for taxpayers' buck while providing essential services."

Read more here


August 11, 2016

You pay BEEB staff to shop: £100k voucher scheme 'a reward' - The Daily Star

Harry Davis of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “The Beeb need to cut out these bonuses if licence fee payers are to be convinced they are getting value for money.”

Read more here


August 11, 2016

Clumsy, bewildering and silly: Plymouth reacts to police plea for drivers - Plymouth Herald

The Taxpayers' Alliance said that although it may seem like a "silly" scheme, it could help save money.

Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby said: "This may seem silly at first glance, but schemes like this can help the police to free up officers' time and reduce costs for taxpayers.

"It's fantastic to see that people are willing to offer their help and time to the police, and it means they can do their bit to help keep costs down.

"Of course, for dangerous or emergency situations communities will want to be reassured that officers arrive quickly in properly equipped cars to handle the given situation, but schemes like this should be encouraged for other scenarios."

Read more here


August 11, 2016

Police chief earned £600k for just 16 months' work - Daily Mail

Commenting on the West Yorkshire situation, Harry Davis of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘Questions will be asked as to why staff can stay on full pay through a protracted legal case.
‘But now that the chief constable is standing down, the force have an opportunity to negotiate a better contract so that taxpayers are not left on the hook when problems arise.’

Read more here


August 11, 2016

Cashing in: RMT boss Mick Cash's "telephone-number" salary sparks outrage as Britain's commuters face three-pronged strike attack - City AM

“Taxpayers will be staggered by the hypocrisy of union bosses who, while playing at being class warriors, lead strikes which disrupt the lives of millions of people while pocketing telephone-number salaries,” said Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Read more here


August 11, 2016

More rail woe as RMT union calls Eurostar strike to ruin holidays - Daily Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be staggered by the hypocrisy of union bosses who, while playing at being class warriors, lead strikes which disrupt the lives of millions of people.

“These strikes aren’t just a minor inconvenience but materially affect people’s lives, their ability to get to work and to earn a living.”

Read more here


August 10, 2016

Cash-strapped police appeal for volunteer drivers to take officers to jobs - Daily Mirror

Volunteer drivers would work shifts of two to four hours but not work after 6pm or on weekends. They must pass a strict vetting and driving tests. Union Unison has voiced concern at the recruitment of thousands of volunteers to replace axed roles. Devon and Cornwall Police has lost 500 full-time officers since December 2010.

But Jonathan Isaby of right-wing pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Schemes like this can help free up officers’ time and reduce costs for taxpayers.”

Other forces already using volunteer drivers include North Yorkshire.

Read more here


August 10, 2016

Fact finding missions or just MPs on tour? - Talk Radio

TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby argues that MPs need to be more open about their 'fact finding missions' so the public can decide if they could have done any cheaper or if they're just on a jolly.

Listen here


August 10, 2016

Council defends sending team of six on rates-funded trip to US in bid to promote Gobbins - Belfast Telegraph

The TaxPayers' Alliance has hit out at the stateside trip - the second year in a row the council has attended the event.

"When money is still tight, local ratepayers will be furious that the council continues to fly staff over to America for what could be seen as little more than a jolly," a spokesman said. "The Milwaukee Irish Festival is a predominantly entertainment-focused event, not a tourism trade fair.

"By sanctioning these ratepayer-funded trips, council bosses are testing the trust in which ratepayers give over their cash and it's vital that every trip abroad is carefully considered before signing it off."

 

Read more here


August 10, 2016

Chancellor urged to halve stamp duty to relieve 'punitive' property taxes - Peterlee Star

A thinktank is urging Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut stamp duty by half, after releasing research showing that Britain has the highest property taxes in the developed world.

The Taxpayers' Alliance said that "punitive" property taxes - including stamp duty, council tax and business rates - were a "massive burden" on all parts of the UK, and not just on London and the South East as is sometimes assumed.

Read more here


August 09, 2016

It's time for the police to be open, honest and transparent about police bosses expenses - BBC Essex

TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby discusses the investigation by the Daily Mail into the expenses and perks of Police Chief Constables up and down the country.

Listen here


August 09, 2016

The BBC gave hundreds of prized Wimbledon Centre Court tickets worth £1,600 each to staff and businesses - Daily Mail

A spokesman for TaxPayers' Alliance told Heat Street:

The licence fee takes a significant chunk out of the annual family budget so most people – including other BBC staff – will find it unfair to learn that a select few corporation employees got to enjoy these free tickets.

'Instead of rewarding already well paid staff, the BBC ought instead to be thinking of more deserving recipients for its allocation or, better still, making more of these much sought after tickets available to the tennis-loving public.

Read more here


August 09, 2016

Chancellor urged to halve stamp duty to relieve 'punitive' property taxes - Northumberland Gazette

A thinktank is urging Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut stamp duty by half, after releasing research showing that Britain has the highest property taxes in the developed world. The Taxpayers' Alliance said that "punitive" property taxes - including stamp duty, council tax and business rates - were a "massive burden" on all parts of the UK, and not just on London and the South East as is sometimes assumed.

Read more here


August 09, 2016

Greed and sexism at the heart of police - Daily Mail

Harry Davis of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘It should be simple enough to use modern technology to swiftly and cheaply publish details of all senior police officers’ expenses online.’

Read more here


August 09, 2016

'I do almost 180 programmes a year' Andrew Neil defends bumper BBC pay packet - Daily Express

Harry Davis, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “There clearly remains a culture of secrecy at the BBC despite years of promises and pledges to open up the books.

“When other public bodies are rightly obliged to reveal far more details about those enjoying bumper six-figure pay deals, no-one working for the corporation should be allowed to escape similar scrutiny.

“By failing to ensure proper transparency in this area, ministers are letting down all those who are forced to stump up the cash to fund these pay bonanzas.”

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Do strikes work? - Sky News


August 08, 2016

Police perks are out of control - LBC

TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby argues that police perks, give sometimes without any receipts, is reminiscent of the MPs expenses scandal.

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August 08, 2016

Chancellor urged to halve stamp duty to relieve 'punitive' property taxes - Northamptonshire Telegraph

The TPA said that rates of stamp duty should be immediately halved, with a view to eventually scrapping the tax , which is charged at 2% on sales of properties worth over £125,000, with higher rates of 5% for amounts over £250,000, 10% for amounts over £925,000 and 12% over £1.5 million.

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Chancellor urged to halve stamp duty to relieve 'punitive' property taxes - Kenilworth Weekly News

A thinktank is urging Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut stamp duty by half, after releasing research showing that Britain has the highest property taxes in the developed world. The Taxpayers' Alliance said that "punitive" property taxes - including stamp duty, council tax and business rates - were a "massive burden" on all parts of the UK, and not just on London and the South East as is sometimes assumed.

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Amber Rudd urges police forces to reveal how much senior officers receive in pay and expenses - Wales Online

The revelations came to light following an investigation by the Daily Mail newspaper and the TaxPayers’ Alliance that involved 6,000 freedom of information requests. Chief officer pay is set by the Home Office on the recommendations of the independent Senior Salaries Review Body, which has assessed varying allowances and has highlighted the importance of transparency.

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Police ‘won’t apply for top jobs unless we throw in big perks’ - The Yorkshire Post

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The nation still has a huge budget deficit … it seems completely absurd that taxpayers should be forking out for the enormous pay and perks … The policing budget is already stretched thinly and it really has to be asked whether this is the best use of taxpayers’ money.”

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Chancellor urged to halve stamp duty to relieve 'punitive' property taxes - Thame Gazette

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "We often hear about the impact of high property taxes on the overheated London housing market, but the truth is that they are a massive burden in every region of the UK."

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Regional Property Taxes - London Live


August 08, 2016

BBC Gave Away 421 Wimbledon Tickets To Cronies - Heatstreet

A spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “The licence fee takes a significant chunk out of the annual family budget so most people – including other BBC staff – will find it unfair to learn that a select few corporation employees got to enjoy these free tickets.

"Instead of rewarding already well paid staff, the BBC ought instead to be thinking of more deserving recipients for its allocation or, better still, making more of these much sought after tickets available to the tennis-loving public."

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Police chief constable perks include rent-free CASTLE, 64 days holiday and £30,000 expenses for bills and food - Daily Mirror

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance "Housing allowances and free broadband are a scandalous way to spend taxpayers' money when budgets are so tight.

"This sort of largesse isn't found in the private sector and so there seems little justification for these additional perks at taxpayers' expense.

"They should be cut back to reflect the current need to make urgent savings."

Read more here


August 08, 2016

UK tops list for property tax burdens as campaigners call for stamp duty to be abolished - International Business Times

Britain has the highest property tax burden of all OECD countries, according to a report. The TaxPayers' Alliance, a campaign group for lower taxation, said the value of property taxes collected in 2014 was equivalent to 4.1% of GDP.

That placed it top of the list by the worldwide forum, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Read more here


August 08, 2016

The £200,000 boss who makes you pay his daily lunch bill - Daily Mail

Last night Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

"Housing allowances and free broadband are a scandalous way to spend taxpayers’ money when budgets are so tight. This sort of largesse isn’t found in the private sector and so there seems little justification for these additional perks at taxpayers’ expense. They should be cut back to reflect the current need to make urgent savings."

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Chancellor Urged To Halve Stamp Duty To Relieve 'Punitive' Property Taxes - Yahoo Finanace

A thinktank is urging Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut stamp duty by half, after releasing research showing that Britain has the highest property taxes in the developed world.

The Taxpayers' Alliance said that "punitive" property taxes - including stamp duty, council tax and business rates - were a "massive burden" on all parts of the UK, and not just on London and the South East as is sometimes assumed.

Read more here


August 08, 2016

A law unto themselves: How YOU pay thousands for police chiefs' household bills and private healthcare - Daily Mail

The extraordinary extent to which senior police officers are abusing taxpayer-funded expenses and perks is revealed today.
Chief constables and their senior teams are claiming astonishing benefits paid for by the public – but have scandalously refused to reveal the full details.

On top of huge salaries, some are quietly claiming 'allowances' of up to £32,000 a year, including for day-to-day spending and household bills.

Others are charging the public for private medical insurance – a privilege that most frontline officers never receive.

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Chancellor urged to halve stamp duty to relieve 'punitive' property taxes - Daily Express

A THINKTANK is urging the Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut stamp duty by half, after releasing research showing that Britain has the highest property taxes in the developed world.

Read more here


August 08, 2016

Hammond should ABOLISH stamp duty to encourage post-Brexit property boom, report says - Daily Express

A report by the TaxPayers’ Alliance calculated that households and businesses are paying nearly £67billion in property taxes.

The sum for the financial year 2014-15 was a 2.8 per cent increase on the previous 12 months, a drag on economic growth in every region, the report said.

The figures are expected to keep rising after a punitive three per cent extra stamp duty was added in April for second homes which hits buy-to-let landlords.

Read more here


August 05, 2016

Sheffield public health chief’s £178,000 pay addressed - Sheffield Star

A Sheffield council chief’s pay was slashed after his predecessor took home more than £178,000, figures have revealed. Jeremy Wight, who resigned last year, was the top-earning local authority director of public health in Yorkshire, and the fifth best paid in the country, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Should fat patients be offered £100-an-hour therapy? - BBC Three Counties

Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance Jonathan Isaby, who himself lost 8 stones last year, argues that we need to encourage personal responsibility if we want people to become healthier.

Listen here


August 04, 2016

Can we justify £167,000 for a Chief Knowledge Officer? - BBC Surrey and Sussex

TPA Research Director Alex Wild discusses the first ever Nanny State Rich List produced by the TPA.

Listen here


August 04, 2016

The amount spent by Teesside councils to silence former staff - Gazette Live

The region’s four major authorities have spent the “eye-watering” amount on confidentiality agreements - dubbed ‘gagging orders’ - since 2013.

The orders are inserted into departing staff contracts and ban them from publicly discussing their exit in exchange for a bigger payoff.

“This is an enormous sum of taxpayers’ money to spend on keeping staff silent,” said Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of spending pressure group TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Taxpayers contributed £3.7m subsidising food and drink in Houses of Parliament last year - Daily Express

Anti-waste campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance described the continuing public subsidy for MPs, peers and parliamentary staff as “deeply regrettable”.

Harry Davis, campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is irritating for people to know that their cash is still being used to subsidise the food and drink enjoyed by MPs and peers while the Government is still spending way beyond its means.

“The parliamentary authorities need to reform the catering arrangements so that hard-pressed taxpayers are no longer propping up what ought to be profitable outlets.

“Before he became prime minister, David Cameron declared that he would end these subsidies so it is deeply regrettable that seven years later and with him now out of office, the subsidies are still there.”

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Introducing our new Nanny State Rich List - Conservative Home

The nanny state is encroaching ever further into our lives: only recently we’ve been told to take care playing pooh-sticks and to be more careful about what we eat (via an enormously expensive campaign and website to boot). We have been threatened with minimum unit pricing for alcohol; and government has finally lumped us with a sugar tax.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Staggering 325 nanny state public health bosses raked in over £100,000 a YEAR just to say drink less and exercise more - The Sun

A STAGGERING 325 nanny state public health chiefs raked in over £100,000 in pay and perks last year, a shock report says today.

More than half – 199 – worked for Public Health England – the same organisation which wants to slap minimum prices on booze, backs the sugar tax on fizzy drinks and tells people to eat less.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Ever wondered how to tie your scarf? - Daily Mail

Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'The council has raised council tax by almost 53 per cent in in the last two decades and another 4 per cent this year so local taxpayers have every right to be angry that their money is being spent on these nonsensical courses.

'Councils up and down the country are pleading poverty and claiming that there is no further waste to cut but this case just goes to show that this is not always true.

'If we are ever going to get the country living within its means then councils need to get serious about what they should and should not be funding.'

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Council spends £15,000 removing full stop from logo - ITV News

But Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, added:
This level of vanity spending on a logo is a slap in the face to all local residents who stump up their council tax each year.

Barely a week goes by without one council or another complaining about cuts to their budgets, claiming there are no more savings to be made but this just goes to prove that it is not always the case.

Councils should be focusing on frontline services and helping hard-pressed families by keeping council tax down, not giving themselves makeovers.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Does Essex's 'healthy living' director justify a £190,000 annual salary? Campaigners hit out at exec pay - Echo News

A study published by the Taxpayers’ Alliance has revealed Dr Michael Gogarty, Essex County Council’s director of commissioning healthy lifestyles, takes home £190,739 per year – the third highest for local authorities in the country.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

HS2 should be scrapped to get regional rail services back on track - Yorkshire Post

Even the Government can’t even decide why it wants to build HS2. First it was an alternative to Heathrow expansion, then it was about speed, then it was about capacity, now rebalancing the economy. Each of these arguments has been comprehensively skewered and the fact that the Government has shifted its position so many times is testament to this. It just goes to show that HS2 is a political project, not an economic one.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Hundreds of NHS bosses on six-figure pay - The Times

Hundreds of public health managers are receiving pay packages of more than £100,000 despite a financial crisis in the NHS.

An analysis shows that 325 public health bosses were paid more than £100,000 in 2014-15 and 43 had salaries of at least £150,000 — more than the prime minister.

Read more here


August 04, 2016

Nanny state rich list includes Leeds director - Yorkshire Evening Post

The city’s director of public health earned £10,000 more than the Prime Minister, according to new research. Dr Ian Cameron, who received total remuneration of £153,875 in 2014-15, was among more than 300 officials paid more than £99,999 a year, the pressure group Taxpayers’ Alliance said.

Read more here


August 03, 2016

Hundreds of health officials earn £100k to promote healthy lifestyles - Daily Express

Quangos and local councils across the country were accused of lavishing taxpayers' cash on "nanny state" bureaucrats tasked with promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles and campaigning against obesity, smoking and excessive drinking.

Read more here


August 03, 2016

Taxpayers spent £3.7m subsidising food and drink in Parliament last year - Politics Home

The Tax Payers' Alliance said it was “deeply regrettable” that the subsidies are still in place.

Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the campaign group, said: “It is irritating for people to know that their cash is still being used to subsidise the food and drink being enjoyed by MPs and peers while the Government is still spending way beyond its means.

“The parliamentary authorities need to reform the catering arrangements so that hard-pressed taxpayers are no longer propping up what ought to be profitable outlets.

“Before he became Prime Minister, David Cameron declared that he would end these subsidies, so it is deeply regrettable that seven years later and with him now out of office, the subsidies are still there.”

Read more here


August 03, 2016

Dustbin blackmail! - Daily Mail

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said residents who had seen their council tax rise would wonder how reducing bin collections was giving them value for money. He said: ‘How many households could hygienically retain three weeks’ worth of rubbish?’

Read more here


August 02, 2016

Council budgets are still tight - BBC North West


August 02, 2016

Osborne's Legacy - BBC Newsnight


August 02, 2016

The Housing Crisis - Sky News


August 02, 2016

The public deserve to know how much BBC staff get paid - LBC

Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, argues that the public have a right to know how much BBC staff get paid and it should be published as a matter of course. 

Listen here


August 02, 2016

Police forces need to find every possible saving before they raise tax - BBC Wales

Harry Fairhead, TPA Policy Analyst, argues that police forces up and down the country need to make sure that they find all necessary savings and cut out all waste before they think about raising tax.

Listen here


August 02, 2016

Manchester Council bosses to receive 20 per cent pay rise - Government Business

Harry Davis, from the Taxpayers' Alliance, commented: “They have removed about 400 staff earning over £50,000.
"But, when savings need to be made and council tax is still going up, they have to make sure that they keep a tight grip on the purse strings so that they can channel as much as possible to front line services and tax cuts for local residents."

Read more here


August 01, 2016

Changing maintenance grants is sensible in isolation but should it be a priority? - LBC

TPA Research Director Alex Wild questions why the government is moving to change maintenance grants but can find money to fund policies such as the triple lock.

Listen here


August 01, 2016

The Plastic Bag tax is an administrative burden on business - BBC Three Counties

Policy Analyst at the TPA argues that the plastic bag tax should not be rolled out across all shops as it is an administrative burden on smaller businesses.

Listen here


August 01, 2016

Pay four times the cost of a cataract operation to skip queue, elderly are told: Patients being charged £3,500 for surgery that usually costs £800 sparking fears vulnerable are being ripped off - Daily Mail

Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘I am not sure why the taxpayer should be funding this. I sometimes ask if the NHS is getting its priorities right.’ Alex Wild, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, added: ‘The NHS will always have to ration treatments – bosses have to be realistic about what taxpayers can afford

Read more here


August 01, 2016

The judge leading the Government's inquiry into historical child abuse claims could cost the taxpayer more than £5 million - Daily Mail

Taxpayers will also cover the cost of four business-class return flights to New Zealand every year for her and her husband, plus two return economy flights a year for her children.

The cost of all these flights are expected to reach £55,000 every year.

Her extraordinary remuneration package has catapulted her to the top of the public servants’ paylist.

The 66-year-old judge will cost the taxpayer more than £5 million if, as predicted, the inquiry into child sex abuse drags on for a decade.

Read more here


July 31, 2016

Pension freedoms under threat for millions of final salary savers - Daily Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayer's Alliance said: "This policy may be a sure-fire vote winner but it is unjustifiable and devoid of any economic rationale. If this continues the state pension will end up consuning the entirety of public spending, so it's clearly unsustainable as well.

"It seems the only people willing to support the triple lock are vote hungry members of the government, but they should think long and hard about the gamble they are taking with younger generations' futures."

Read more here


July 31, 2016

Cash-strapped Ministry of Defence splash out £100,000 on buying uniforms for celebrities to serve as forces' ambassadors - Daily Mail

Last night, The TaxPayers’ Alliance expressed outrage at the lavish spending when I pointed out that one honorary title had been handed to David Morgan-Hewitt, the managing director of the Goring Hotel.

Spokesman Alex Wild said: ‘It seems unlikely this is what George Osborne had in mind when he committed us to meeting Nato’s defence spending target.

It’s patronising in the extreme to suggest people might be persuaded to join the Armed Forces and potentially put their lives on the line because of a celeb endorsement.’

Read more here


July 30, 2016

HS2 is a massive waste of money - BBC Radio 5Live

TPA Research Director Alex Wild takes apart the case for HS2 and urges the government to scrap the plans.

Listen here


July 30, 2016

Osborne and the buttering up of Beijing: Hinkley Point decision puts the spotlight on former Chancellor's controversial subsidy deal - Daily Mail

Alex Wild, research director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘It’s encouraging the Government is rethinking this terrible deal that would see consumers paying exorbitant bills for decades.

‘The technology is completely unproven and the costs and time needed to build the reactors has already doubled since the initial proposal. The new department needs to completely rethink the energy policies and arbitrary targets which are driving up bills and destroying jobs.

‘Even if the Government decides more nuclear capacity is needed, there are far more affordable options available.’

Read more here


July 29, 2016

Goddard Inquiry: New Zealand judge becomes Britain’s highest paid civil servant with £5m pay package - The Telegraph

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Justice Goddard is presiding over a serious and sensitive inquiry, but the financial deal handed to her will rankle with many taxpayers.

“Given that she is being paid an extremely high salary, her generous ‘living allowance’ and international flights home are highly questionable.” he added: “The authorities owe it to taxpayers to keep the costs of these arrangements under control, especially when the inquiry over which she is presiding could last for a number of years.”

The Taxpayers' Alliance said by its reckoning only two public servants - both involved in the HS2 high speed rail link - earned more.

Read more here


July 29, 2016

The HS2 case doesn't hold up - it's time to scrap it - Hallam FM

Harry Fairhead, TPA Policy Analyst, argues that by the time HS2 is completed, it will already be out of date.

Listen here


July 29, 2016

It's time to scrap HS2 - BBC Three Counties

Following the release of new TPA research, TPA Policy Analyst Harry Fairhead argues that it is surely time to scrap HS2.

Listen here


July 29, 2016

Welsh government won't reveal how much public money went into straight-to-DVD 'Hollywood movie' filmed in Anglesey ... but promoting Scotland - Daily Post

But the Taxpayers Alliance said it was time to come clean on what was spent on the production.

Jonathan Isaby, the pressure group’s chief executive, said: “People will be furious. When times are difficult and hard-pressed families are struggling with ever rising bills, can this really be a good use of taxpayers’ money?

“It is also strange that the authorities won’t reveal how much of taxpayers’ money actually went into this film.

“People expect their taxes to pay for frontline services, not to be wasted on films which go straight to DVD.”

Read more here


July 29, 2016

What a load of rubbish! Cash-strapped council lavishes £3,000 on two fancy dress costumes to promote cutting LITTER - Daily Mail

A cash-strapped council has splashed out nearly £3,000 on two fancy dress costumes - to promote cutting waste.
Ashford Borough Council spent £2,944 on the costumes as part of their campaign to stop littering and increase road safety awareness.

The pair of characters were created by council employee in their own time and named by staff.
But the authority also paid £1,244 to Frenzy Creative agency in Manchester to make Sir Litternot and £1,700 to Jellyhead Studios in London to bring Moreline the Wizhog to life.

Read more here


July 29, 2016

HS2 an expensive vanity project says TaxPayers’ Alliance - Rail Professional

The business case for HS2 has fallen apart and the scheme is already projected to be massively over its original budget according to the TPA. ‘The project is unlikely to be completed on schedule and there’s a significant chance that future technological developments, such as autonomous vehicles, will make it an obsolete technology years before the first train sets off for Birmingham.’

Read more here


July 29, 2016

HS2 Through Bucks "Should Be Scrapped" - Radio Heart

The TaxPayers Alliance has claimed the north-south rail link which will pass through Aylesbury and Wendover will be poor value for money and has a flawed business case.

Read more here


July 29, 2016

It's time for the new government to scrap HS2 - LBC

A new report from the TPA has called on the government to scrap the wasteful HS2 project. The business case for HS2 has fallen apart and the scheme is already projected to be massively over its original budget. It is unlikely to be completed on schedule and there's a significant chance that future technological developments, such as autonomous vehicles, will make it an obsolete technology years before the first train sets off for Birmingham. Harry Fairhead, Policy Analyst at the TPA, argues the TPA case on LBC. 

Listen here


July 29, 2016

HS2 Should Be SCRAPPED! - Mix 96 News

The business case for HS2 has fallen apart and the scheme is already projected to be massively over its original budget. It is unlikely to be completed on schedule and there's a significant chance that future technological developments, such as autonomous vehicles, will make it an obsolete technology years before the first train sets off for Birmingham.

Read more here


July 29, 2016

High Speed Rail scheme "must be scrapped" - ITV

A new report has launched a scathing attack on the planned HS2 high speed rail link plan, calling it an expensive vanity project. The TaxPayers Alliance says projected costs are likely to be almost 90 billion pounds, it wont be completed on time and they want the government to scrap the idea as soon as possible.

Read more here


July 29, 2016

HS2 should be abandoned, says The TaxPayers' Alliance - City AM

The TPA added that the business case for the project has now fallen apart, with demand for travel uncertain. Other projects, it continued, would provide greater value for money.

However, earlier this month newly-appointed transport minister Chris Grayling said that he has no plans to back away from the project.

Grayling said the project to bring high speed train travel between London and cities in the North, including Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield, will remain on track.

But the TPA continued to say that HS2 is unlikely to help develop the economy of North England to the extent that has been suggested.

Read more here


July 29, 2016

Cost of 'vanity' rail project HS2 could hit £90bn: Report urges Theresa May to ditch the scheme and spend money on Britain's existing lines - Mail Online

A series of damning reports have also raised concerns it will not provide value for money for taxpayers. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘HS2 is a wasteful vanity project which is unlikely to be completed on schedule and will cost taxpayers a fortune.

‘The new prime minister should now be pursuing bold and imaginative policies to boost economic growth and increase productivity – and that positive approach must include scrapping HS2, which has cost taxpayers far too much already.’

Read more here


July 28, 2016

Scrap the HS2 vanity project says report - About Manchester

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“HS2 is a wasteful vanity project which is unlikely to be completed on schedule and will cost taxpayers a fortune. The new Prime Minister should now be pursuing bold and imaginative policies to boost economic growth and increase productivity – and that positive approach must include scrapping HS2, which has cost taxpayers far too much already. Ministers should instead be embarking on more worthwhile infrastructure projects that will cost less and deliver far better value.”

Read more here


July 28, 2016

HS2 'must be scrapped', say campaigners - Politics Home

Taxpayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "HS2 will cost taxpayers a fortune. The new Prime Minister should now be pursuing bold and imaginative policies to boost economic growth and increase productivity – and that positive approach must include scrapping HS2, which has cost taxpayers far too much already.”

Read more here


July 27, 2016

Council tax shouldn't just be written off - ITV News Wales


July 27, 2016

Theresa May should think again about harmful green belt limits to help fix the housing crisis - Telegraph Business

There can no longer be any doubt about it: Britain’s housing market is broken. The consequences of this dysfunction aren’t just falling home ownership rates and eye-watering rents.

It’s making our commutes longer as we move ever further away from employment in search of affordable space, our homes smaller as we are increasingly priced out of homes once considered normal, and our taxes higher as high rents push up housing benefit bills. It’s even reducing productivity, employment and incomes as people fail to take advantage of job opportunities because of high housing costs.

Read more here


July 27, 2016

Two Teesside councillors threatened with legal action - for not paying their own council's tax - Gazette Live

However Harry Davis, of the Taxpayer’s Alliance, said: “ Stockton-on-Tees has raised council tax 18 times in the last two decades so local taxpayers have every right to be angry that their money is being spent pursuing elected representatives who haven’t paid on time.”

Read more here


July 27, 2016

'Abolish IMMEDIATELY' Calls for inheritance tax to be SCRAPPED intensify - Daily Express

The "unlucky generation" of families are among those paying inheritance tax in the two years from April 2015 who will miss out on new legal changes because tax inspectors are taking too long to implement them.

While some campaigners called for the 28,000 families affected to be compensated by the Government, others claimed the situation showed it was time for the duty to be scrapped altogether.

Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "Inheritance Tax is a pernicious tax which hits families at the worst possible time.

Read more here


July 26, 2016

Scrap stamp duty, argue campaigners - Government Business

The Tax Payers Alliance (TPA) is urging the government to abolish the ‘unfair’ stamp duty, as it is preventing people buying their own home.

In a report, the group state that the three per cent stamp duty that additional homes surcharge will help prospective buyers, but is unfair to tenants in rented accommodation.

Read more here


July 26, 2016

British Council manager paid £80k to promote the UK abroad launches Facebook rant at 'f*****g d******d' Prince George saying the young royal is example of 'white privilege' - Mail Online UK

The British Council receives £154.9million of taxpayers' money each year and Prince George's parents have fronted some of the charity's projects across the globe.

It has been hit by criticism in the past for wasting millions of public money on staff perks.

A substantial portion of the charity's funding comes from government. The Taxpayers' Alliance hit out at the charity for spending £6.7million on credit cards between 2010 and 2012.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Taxing tenants – RLA backs report demanding change - RLA News Service

A damning new report showing how taxing landlords is actually penalising tenants has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords Association.

‘Taxing tenants: how taxes on landlords end up hitting tenants’, published by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, says the Government’s new tax grabs will inevitably force up rents – having a massive impact on the country’s PRS tenants.

The hard-hitting report, out today, says the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge on buy-to-let properties will hurt tenants and should be scrapped – with all stamp duty rates halved immediately with a view to abolishing the tax entirely.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Rents fall as landlords remain nervous over Brexit - The Guardian

A separate report on Monday by the Taxpayer’s Alliance has called on stamp duty on homes to be cut by half and later abolished, because it is exacerbating supply shortages and driving up rents for tenants. It said the extra 3% stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let and additional homes in particular should be abolished, warning that it will drive up rents for tenants as investors pass on costs.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

"Harmful" stamp duty surcharge needs scrapping - 24dash.com

In a report, the TaxPayers' Alliance says the measures further complicate an labyrinthine tax system and create economically damaging distortions in the process.

This, says the Alliance, is the exact opposite of the tax reform needed.

Both measures, it says, should be scrapped immediately.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Call to abolish 'unfair stamp duty which penalises tenants' - News and Star

Stamp duty rates should be halved, with a view to abolishing the tax entirely, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The group argued that a recent three percentage point increase to stamp duty rates will end up driving up rents, as the costs are passed on to tenants.

The increase, which came into force on April 1, applies to people buying second homes, including buy-to-let investors.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Ministers urged to abolish ‘disastrous’ Stamp Duty to help solve housing crisis - Property Industry Eye

All rates of Stamp Duty should be halved immediately and then scrapped altogether, while the 3% surcharge on buy-to-let properties and second homes should be ditched without delay.

The calls come from the influential TaxPayers’ Alliance, which is also demanding that the Government immediately bin its forthcoming cap on the amount of mortgage relief landlords can set against tax.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance this morning issued a report which pulls no punches, describing recent tweaks to the tax system as “gimmicky”.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Think-tank calls for Stamp Duty to be scrapped - Landlord News

A think thank has moved to express its fears towards the stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let landlords.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance, a British pressure group, believes that tenants could end up bearing the cost of the rises. As such, it is calling on the Government to scrap the stamp-duty surcharge, and reconsider cutting mortgage interest tax relief, to prevent rents spiralling.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Whitehall should scrap stamp duty, campaigners says - LocalGov

The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) is calling on Whitehall to abolish stamp duty arguing it is an ‘unfair tax’ which stops people buying their own home.

The group’s new report--Taxing tenants: how taxes on landlords end up hitting tenants—said the 3% stamp duty additional homes surcharge will help prospective buyers but will hurt tenants in rented accommodation.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Calls for government to abolish stamp duty surcharge - What Mortgage

The TaxPayers’ Alliance wants the government to halve all stamp duty rates immediately with a view to getting rid of it entirely.

The group said stamp duty was a “disastrous and unfair tax” which will hit tenants the most by driving up rents as landlords look to pass on costs.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Scrap stamp duty and end anti-buy to let taxes, urges pressure group - Letting Agent Today

The TaxPayers’ Alliance says the three per cent stamp duty surcharge on buy to let and holiday home purchases will help some prospective buyers but will hurt tenants in rented accommodation.

The reduction in mortgage interest tax relief, recently detailed by the government, will also advantage prospective buyers at the expense of tenants, while it and the SDLT surcharge combined will “distort housing markets, with implications for incomes, employment and overall welfare.”

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Abolish stamp duty and ease planning restrictions, urges TaxPayers’ Alliance - Public Finance

The government should scrap stamp duty and ease planning restrictions to address the worsening housing crisis, the TaxPayers’ Alliance has said today.

In a new report, the group called for “real reform” to tackle the housing shortage accusing successive governments of merely tinkering around the edges instead of dealing with underlying issues facing the sector.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Industry group says Autumn Statement is chance to rethink housing taxes - Letting Agent Today

The RLA says a new report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance - which warns that private rental sector tenants will be hurt by the stamp duty surcharge and the reduction of buy to let mortgage interest tax relief - is “a damning indictment of the government’s tax grab on landlords.”

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Pressure group urges scrapping new buy-to-let and stamp duty taxes - Houseladder.co.uk

The TaxPayers’ Alliance says the three per cent stamp duty surcharge on buy to let and holiday home purchases will help some prospective buyers but will hurt tenants in rented accommodation.

The reduction in mortgage interest tax relief, recently detailed by the government, will also advantage prospective buyers at the expense of tenants, while it and the SDLT surcharge combined will “distort housing markets, with implications for incomes, employment and overall welfare.”

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Government Urged to Abolish Tax Hikes for Landlords to Solve Housing Crisis - Just Landlords

The Government has been urged to abolish tax hikes for landlords and scrap Stamp Duty altogether in order to solve the housing crisis.

These calls come from the influential TaxPayers’ Alliance, which also demands that the Government scraps its forthcoming reduction on mortgage interest tax relief for landlords.

The organisation has issued a report into how taxes on landlords end up hitting tenants, which is further stoking the housing crisis.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Landlords welcome TaxPayers' Alliance's call to abolish stamp duty hike for buy-to-let purchases - Housing Excellence

A report from the Taxpayers Alliance (TPA) calling for the Government to scrap George Osborne’s stamp duty hike for the purchase of additional homes has unsurprisingly been welcomed by landlords.

The TPA has called on the Government to undertake “real reform” to tackle the housing shortage in the UK. It accuses successive governments of having avoided “meaningful reform”, instead focusing on “tinkering around the edges” which it says has only served to worsen the situation and drive up prices.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

TaxPayers' Alliance Report slams BTL taxes - Property Tribes

All rates of Stamp Duty should be halved immediately and then scrapped altogether, while the 3% surcharge on buy-to-let properties and second homes should be ditched without delay.

The calls come from the influential TaxPayers’ Alliance, which is also demanding that the Government immediately bin its forthcoming cap on the amount of mortgage relief landlords can set against tax.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Cut stamp duty in half, axe buy-to-let hike, and relax rules so developers can build 'taller and denser', campaign group urges - Mail Online UK

Stamp duty on homes should be slashed in half and eventually abolished, a campaign group is urging.

Blasting stamp duty as a 'badly-designed tax which gums up property markets', The Taxpayers' Alliance suggested that it should gradually be phased out.

Read more here 


July 25, 2016

Scrap stamp duty or watch tenants bear the brunt of buy-to-let tax hikes - Landlord Today

“For decades politicians have failed to tackle the root causes of the housing crisis: a chronic lack of supply,” said Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance.

“Stamp duty is still punitively high and gimmicky tweaks to the tax system will ultimately end up penalising tenants and increasing rents,” he added. “The new Chancellor should now seize the opportunity to drastically simplify and reduce property taxes, while removing planning restrictions which prevent huge swathes of land from being built on for no good reason at all.”

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Bad news, renters: This tax change does not benefit you - City AM

The TaxPayers' Alliance is calling on the new chancellor to scrap the additional three per cent charge, which was introduced in April.

The think tank also slammed stamp duty more generally, calling it an unfair tax which prevented people from buying their own home, downsizing easily or moving closer to work. At the very least, the report said, the rate should be halved immediately.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

YP Comment: Concern over property tax - The Yorkshire Post

The Taxpayers’ Alliance contention that stamp duty rates clog up the property market and result in increased rents as landlords pass on the cost will strike a chord with many tenants. Steep rental costs make saving for a deposit that much harder. And for those who own their own home, stamp duty is a source of frustration. As properties have increased in value over the years, successive governments have cashed in, with householders footing the bill. Whether Mr Hammond heeds the Taxpayers’ Alliance call for a root-and-branch reform of the property tax system remains to be seen.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Call to slash stamp duty rates amid concerns over rent rises - Midhurst and Petworth Observer

Stamp duty rates should be halved, with a view to abolishing the tax entirely, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The group argued that a recent three percentage point increase to stamp duty rates will end up driving up rents, as the costs are passed on to tenants.

The increase, which came into force on April 1, applies to people buying second homes, including buy-to-let investors.

Read more here


July 25, 2016

Living near a Waitrose ‘puts 10pc on value of your house’; Aldi not so much - The Yorkshire Post

Meanwhile, the TaxPayers’ Alliance has called for stamp duty rates to be halved, with a view to abolishing the tax entirely.

The group argued that a recent three percentage point increase to stamp duty rates will end up driving up rents, as the costs are passed on to tenants.

The increase, which came into force on April 1, applies to people buying second homes, including buy-to-let investors.

Read more here


July 24, 2016

TaxPayers’ Alliance says Chancellor should halve unfair stamp duty now - Daily Express

The group described stamp duty as a “badly-designed tax which gums up property markets”.

It said the increase should be done away with and all rates should be halved immediately. It should then be abolished.

It added that stamp duty was an “unfair tax which stops people from buying their own home, settling down with a family, moving for work or downsizing”.

Read more here


July 24, 2016

Outgoing Scottish MEPs set for multi-million pound pay-off - Sunday Post

Harry Davies, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Anyone leaving their post will incur costs but officials have a duty to keep expenditure to a minimum. These golden goodbyes are unacceptable and Scottish taxpayers may be relieved that they are no longer on the hook for any more EU largesse.”

Read more here


July 22, 2016

Welsh civil servants spent public money at Toys R Us and Ikea - The Guardian

Lee Canning, Wales coordinator for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said the spending was shocking. “Taxpayers’ money is meant to pay for essential services. Hard-pressed families across Wales will be shocked to the core that part of a huge £7.5m procurement card bill, which they will be picking up, has gone towards luxury items and expensive hotel stays that many cannot afford themselves,” he said.

“When times are hard and every department is having to find necessary savings, this level of profligacy is utterly irresponsible and disrespectful … People expect their taxes to pay for hospitals and roads, not to be wasted on lingerie and luxuries.”

 Read more here


July 22, 2016

Welsh government credit cards used to buy Victoria's Secret lingerie and £1,500 of cake - The Telegraph

Civil service credit cards have been used to buy more than £1,500 of cake and £103 of Victoria's Secret lingerie in the last five years, an investigation has found.

More than 200 civil servants used their Welsh Government procurement cards to spend more than £1.4 million in taxpayers' money last year.

Read more here


July 22, 2016

Victoria's Secret, luxury yachtwear, ToysRUs - the Welsh Government's 'eye-watering' £7.5m credit card bill revealed - Wales Online

Welsh Government credit cards were fraudulently used to spend more than £100 in lingerie shop Victoria’s Secret, it has emerged.

The cards – known as procurement cards – were also used to pay for £370 of luxury yachtwear, iTunes subscriptions totalling £377.32, more than £1,500 of Welsh cakes, and a ToysRUs transaction of nearly £280.

The purchases are outlined in a 259-page document showing the £1.4m that was spent on the 237 active cards in the 2015-16 financial year.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said the purchases were "in line with Welsh Government business objectives"

Read more here


July 22, 2016

Welsh civil servants spend public money at Victoria’s Secret and Ikea - ExecReview

Items from children’s toy shop Toys R Us, rooms at luxury hotels, entrance to the prestigious Plage Goéland in Cannes and payments to a company specialising in luxury yacht equipment have been charged to cards held by members of the Welsh government.

The list appears amid long-running concerns about a rise in spending using the 237 so-called “procurement cards” held by Welsh civil servants. Over the past five years, spending has averaged £1.5m a year.

Read more here


July 21, 2016

Recyling Fines in Leeds - ITV York


July 21, 2016

Cash-strapped council pays out £120k in Cumbria school compensation claims - North West Evening Mail

Responding to the Cumbria-wide figures, Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Leaders in schools must ensure they live up to the highest legal standards required by law as the most serious accidents can ruin lives.

"In such cases, it is entirely appropriate for compensation payments to be made.

"But sometimes accidents do happen which aren’t anyone's fault and the authorities must root out anyone who is playing the system with spurious demands for taxpayers' cash.

"We must never forget that every penny paid out in compensation is a penny taken away from teaching budgets."

Read more here


July 21, 2016

BONKERS BEEB BBC blasted for having 5,000 job titles - The Sun

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Transparency at the Beeb is absolutely crucial to make sure these countless job titles don’t end up masking duplicate roles at the expense of hard-pressed licence fee-payers. Far too often people have no idea what these fancy titles actually mean. That cannot be right.”

Read more here


July 20, 2016

Reducing the number of 'ghost patients' should be welcomed - BBC Essex

If you're not checking your mail you'll be missing more than letters from your GP argues TPA Research Director Alex Wild.

Listen here


July 20, 2016

Taking 'ghost' patients off GP lists is a sensible idea - BBC Radio Tees

TPA Research Director Alex Wild argues that removing 'ghost' patients is a good step as GPs are receiving  money that they shouldn't be getting.

Listen here


July 18, 2016

Brexit could be bad for the environment - Ethical Performance

John O’Connell, director of Taxpayers’ Alliance, a British campaign for a low-tax society and an end to wasteful government spending, criticized the EU mandates, as well as the laggard nations not holding up their end of the deal. "Arbitrary targets become even more useless when no-one else holds up their end of the bargain," he said.

"[A]s Brexit shows, when people feel they do not control their lives or share in the fruits of globalization, they strike out," The Economist recently asserted. "The distant, baffling, overbearing EU makes an irresistible target."

Read more here


July 17, 2016

Foreign crooks costing British taxpayers £60m a year in jet costs to deport them - Daily Star

Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Taxpayers will be furious.

At a time when every department is having to find necessary savings, the Home Office simply cannot afford this level of waste and inefficiency.”

Read more here


July 15, 2016

£1.5m of debt written off by Darlington council just weeks after £12.5m cuts approval - The Northern Echo

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said the council has a duty to make sure everyone pays their fair share of council tax and must learn the lessons of their mistakes.

“When councils are tightening their belts, they really cannot afford not to collect huge amounts of money they are owed.

“Of course there will be those who struggle to make ends meet but councils have to differentiate between taxpayers who simply can’t afford to pay their bills and those who simply refuse.”

 Read more here


July 13, 2016

UK Pays Millions to Deport Asylum Seekers, Criminals on Private Planes - Sputnik International

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance believes the cost to the taxpayer is extremely high.

"Taxpayers will be amazed that this figure is still so stubbornly high from a department that should be looking to cut out frivolous spending," said Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Davis also believes that anyone who is not legally meant to be in the UK should be returned home but the cost of travel needs to be examined.

"All areas of public spending should be under scrutiny, so ministers need to make sure that they have the right protocols and best organizational standards in place so they can keep costs low as possible."

Read more here


July 13, 2016

TPA Sugar Paper: TV Hits - Compilation


July 13, 2016

What you said about £250k spend on celebs for South Tyneside - Shields Gazette

Council bosses said the cash, which was used to pay for acts to appear at South Tyneside Summer Festival’s free Sunday concerts, Christmas light switch-ons and a paid for Soundwaves gig, was money well spent.

They say last year visitors spent an estimated at £1.479m while visiting South Shields seafront.

However, the Taxpayers Alliance criticised the decision and cash should be spent on front-line services.

Read more here


July 12, 2016

BBC REFUSES to tell licence fee payers what its highest paid stars earn - Daily Express

Harry Davis, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “There clearly remains a culture of secrecy at the BBC despite years of promises and pledges to open up the books.

“When other public bodies are rightly obliged to reveal far more details about those enjoying bumper six-figure pay deals, no-one working for the corporation should be allowed to escape similar scrutiny.

“By failing to ensure proper transparency in this area, ministers are letting down all those who are forced to stump up the cash to fund these pay bonanzas.”

Read more here


July 12, 2016

BBC spends £26m on severance payments... reduces headcount by 54 - City AM

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, told City A.M.: "The BBC absolutely needed to cut down on its bloated staffing numbers but it is disappointing to see such a jump in redundancy payments without a significant reduction in personnel.

“All publicly funded organisations must be able to justify every penny of our money that they spend and BBC bosses must make sure that poor or unaccountable governance structures have not led to inflated contractual pay-offs.

“Only by committing to full transparency can the BBC prove to the public that it is committed to delivering long term savings and not wasting licence fee payers' cash on unnecessary payments."

Read more here


July 12, 2016

Put the sugar tax on hold after Brexit, says FDF - Beverage Daily

A short report by Harry Fairhead, policy analyst at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, a campaign group whose stated mission is to “change the perception that big government is necessary and irreversible”, claims that if Britain’s sugar tax has the same effect on jobs in the UK as it did in Mexico, there will be 5,624 fewer jobs which would equate to the Treasury receiving over £17.4m (€ 20.6m) less in employment taxes.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “The government should be focusing on policies which encourage economic growth, so the sugar tax should be immediately scrapped."

Read more here


July 12, 2016

Council defends spending almost £250,000 on celebrities - Sunderland Echo

The borough's annual South Tyneside Summer Festival Sunday Concerts always see a host of celebrities taking to the stage in Bents Park, South Shields.

The free events attract thousands, with last Sunday's gig seeing 24,000 people flock to see Alexandra Burke and fellow reality talent show stars.

However, a Freedom of Information request has revealed that celebrities appearing in the borough were paid £142,950 in 2014/15 and £90,000 in 2015/16.

Read more here


July 12, 2016

Taxpayers foot £9.1m bill for deportations by private plane - Hampshire Chronicle

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers will be amazed that this figure is still so stubbornly high from a department that should be looking to cut out frivolous spending.

"Clearly anyone who is not here legally should be returned home but the cost of travel needs to be kept under control and certainly the use of private jets should be restricted to only the most exceptional circumstances.

"All areas of public spending should be under scrutiny, so ministers need to make sure that they have the right protocols and best organisational standards in place so they can keep costs low as possible."

Read more here


July 12, 2016

Sugar tax ‘should be scrapped’ - Bakeryinfo.co.uk

The proposed sugar tax on soft drinks will fail in its health aims, result in fewer jobs and damage the UK’s economy, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA).

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TPA, said: “Not only will the sugar tax fail in its public health aims, there is a very real risk that it will destroy jobs and harm economic growth. Given it will also hit the poorest households the hardest, the already flimsy case for a sugar tax is rapidly dissolving.

“The government should be focusing on policies which encourage economic growth, so the sugar tax should be immediately scrapped.”

The TPA has previously criticised the government's decision to pursue a levy, calling it a "bungled" tax that will "hit the poorest families hardest”. It also claimed it would have no "meaningful" impact on calorie intake.

Read more here


July 12, 2016

Revealed: How much your council is paying celebrities to make guest appearances - Newcastle Evening Chronicle

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “If councils genuinely believe having Z-listers turning on lights or appearing at events helps bring shoppers to the area, perhaps instead of taking money out of taxpayers’ pockets they could encourage the private sector to help cover the costs.

“All areas of the public sector should be looking for savings, so every pound spent of taxpayers’ money has to be justified.

“Council tax is a huge burden on hard-pressed families and they expect their money to go towards front line services, not on has-been singers.”

Read more here


July 11, 2016

Calls to halt sugar tax following EU referendum result - Economia

A study by the TaxPayers’ Alliance looked at the effect the sugar tax in Mexico had on jobs and economic output. It found that if the levy had the same impact on the UK economy, it would result in 5,624 less jobs.

This would in turn lead to the Treasury receiving £17,300,370 less in job-related taxes, the group claimed. 

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said, "Not only will the sugar tax fail in its public health aims, there is a very real risk that it will destroy jobs and harm economic growth. Given it will also hit the poorest households the hardest, the already flimsy case for a sugar tax is rapidly dissolving. The government should be focusing on policies which encourage economic growth, so the sugar tax should be immediately scrapped."

Read more here


July 11, 2016

Shepway council slammed for £300 Rocksalt lunch bill with Tory minister - Kent and Sussex Courier

Harry Davis, Taxpayers' Alliance campaign manager, said: "Of course it's important to raise issues with government ministers when the chance arises.

"But with council budgets so tight, local residents will question whether spending hundreds of pounds of their cash on a private lunch like this is the best use of their money."

Read more here


July 11, 2016

‘Sugar tax’ predicted to leave £17m sour taste - CCH Daily

The Treasury’s plans to introduce a so-called ‘sugar tax’ on fizzy drinks have been attacked by the TaxPayers' Alliance, which says the move would result in a drop of some £17m in tax revenues because of the impact on the economy and employment

The campaigning group says its analysis is based on research into the effect of a sugar tax in Mexico, which saw a 12% cut in sweetened drink sales during its first year of operation, and reckons that if implemented in the UK, there would be 5,624 fewer jobs.

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:’ Not only will the sugar tax fail in its public health aims, there is a very real risk that it will destroy jobs and harm economic growth. Given it will also hit the poorest households the hardest, the already flimsy case for a sugar tax is rapidly dissolving. The government should be focusing on policies which encourage economic growth, so the sugar tax should be immediately scrapped.’

Read more here


July 11, 2016

Councillors on Test Valley Borough Council's general purposes committee approve staff pay rise of 2.5%

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, slammed the increase:

"At a time when local authorities across the country are having to find necessary savings and hard-pressed families are struggling with rising bills, the council needs to ask itself if this pay rise is justified. Taxpayers expect their money to fund frontline services, not to be used to top up pay packages for council bosses, some of whom already earn three-figure salaries."

Read more here


July 11, 2016

Sugar tax will leave soft drinks jobs and Treasury income with crashing low - City AM

The TPA has called on the government to abandon the levy on soft drinks, after its study calculated 5,624 jobs in the soft drinks industry and associated sectors such as hospitality will be lost, equivalent to £90,622,36 in average industry and related-sector pay.

If this bore out, it would lead to the Treasury receiving £17,399,370 less in job-related taxes, including £11,188,648 of employee's National Insurance contributions and Income Tax, as well as £6,210,723 of employer's National Insurance contributions. 

Read more here


July 11, 2016

Sugar tax will harm jobs and economy - The Telegraph

The Government’s mooted sugar tax will not only fail in its public health aims but it will also result in fewer jobs and damage to the UK economy, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Read more here


July 08, 2016

Government told levels of wrong welfare payments are ‘unacceptably high’ - Daily Express

Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The welfare system remains dogged by complexity and we can see that the authorities are still losing significant sums of taxpayers’ money as a consequence.

“When people cheat the system, they are not just taking from taxpayers but also taking from the neediest in society.

After years of reform it cannot be right that the amount of fraud is increasing, so there can be no room for complacency when ministers still have so much more to do.”

Read more here


July 07, 2016

Council parking machines stop giving out change - BBC Radio York

Council parking machines have stopped giving out change - TPA Political Director, Dia Chakravarty argues that this cannot be right and will dissuade those from using town centres.

Listen here


July 06, 2016

Jeremy Hunt tells junior doctors Government WILL impose new contracts - Daily Mail

Alex Wild, research director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'This dispute has gone on for far too long and it's patients who have been paying the price.

'Neither the government nor the BMA have covered themselves with glory, but the leak of thousands of messages from BMA leaders confirmed what many suspected all along - for them the dispute was all about pay, and they intended to draw it out for as long as possible.  The government has made significant concessions and, after two years of negotiations, must continue with implementation of the contract for the sake of patients and hard-pressed taxpayers.

'This whole episode should prompt a rethink about how negotiations are handled in the future.'

Read more here


July 06, 2016

Eastleigh Borough Council borrowing £3.5m to build new Marks and Spencer food store - Southern Daily Echo

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “There appears to be a lot of confusion around this arrangement.

“Residents are entitled to raise questions and ask for clarifications, which the council has a responsibility to address.

“At a time when councils across the country are having to find necessary savings, the authorities must take particular care when spending taxpayers’ money.”

Read more here


July 05, 2016

Junior doctors reject their contract - BBC Radio Essex

The BMA negotiated a deal with the government but the junior doctors rejected it. Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance,  argues that the system will always be under pressure while it's free at the point of access.

Listen here


July 05, 2016

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: We could lower corporation tax below 12.5% if Osborne slashes rate - Belfast Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The Chancellor is absolutely right to be considering a big cut to corporation tax, as it would show that the UK is ready to seize new opportunities in the global economy.

“But Mr Osborne must be bold and cut the rate to 10% as soon as possible, to really demonstrate that we are open for business, with competitive conditions to match our talented workforce.

“It’s crucial that our politicians have a positive vision for British taxpayers outside the EU, and meaningful tax cuts to boost growth and prosperity are an excellent first step.”

Read more here


July 05, 2016

The Taxpayers' Alliance campaign group has demanded a raft of reductions in rates, just days after George Osborne revealed a reduction in corporation taxes - City AM

Campaign group Taxpayers' Alliance has called on chancellor George Osborne to follow up on his corporation tax cut with a raft of new measures to shore up confidence in the economy.

Read more here


July 05, 2016

NAUGHTY AUNTIE BBC pays nearly £500k to employees who claim they were discriminated against - The Sun

Jonathan Isaby of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said the broadcaster is either failing to meet its needs as an employer or “it is giving in to spurious claims too easily”.

Read more here


July 04, 2016

George Osborne to cut corporation tax to 15% - Economia

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said Osborne was “absolutely right” to be considering a big cut to corporation tax, as it would show that the UK is “ready to seize new opportunities in the global economy.”

On Friday Osborne admitted defeat and abandoned his target of achieving a budget surplus by 2020.

He said that the UK had to be “realistic” about the likelihood of achieving the target given the referendum result and the expected “significant negative shock for the British economy”.

Read more here


July 04, 2016

George Osborne floats plan to cut UK corporation tax to 15pc - Business Matters

Mr Osborne, who had threatened tax and spending cuts through an emergency budget if Britain voted to leave, said he would wait for official forecasts before announcing any new measures.

He said Britain faced a “very challenging time” and urged the Bank of England to use its powers to avoid “a contraction of credit in the economy”.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, urged the Chancellor to “be bold and cut the rate to 10pc as soon as possible to really demonstrate that we are open for business”.

Read more here


July 04, 2016

OSBORNE TO CUT CORPORATION TAX TO BRING POST-BREXIT BOOST - London Stock Exchange

LONDON (Alliance News) - UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is planning to cut corporation tax to less than 15% as part of a plan to give Britain a post-Brexit vote boost.

The Chancellor said the UK must show it was "still open for business" following the decision to leave the EU as he set out plans to create a "super competitive economy".

Read more here


July 04, 2016

Chancellor's Tax Plan To Cushion Brexit Blow - Yahoo News

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, welcomed the move, but urged the Chancellor to act quickly.

"The Chancellor is absolutely right to be considering a big cut to corporation tax, as it would show that the UK is ready to seize new opportunities in the global economy," he said.

"But Mr Osborne must be bold and cut the rate to 10% as soon as possible to really demonstrate that we are open for business, with competitive conditions to match our talented workforce.

"It's crucial that our politicians have a positive vision for British taxpayers outside the EU, and meaningful tax cuts to boost growth and prosperity are an excellent first step."

Read more here


July 04, 2016

George Osborne planning corporation tax cuts to provide post-Brexit vote boost - Halifax Courier

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The Chancellor is absolutely right to be considering a big cut to corporation tax, as it would show that the UK is ready to seize new opportunities in the global economy.

"But Mr Osborne must be bold and cut the rate to 10% as soon as possible to really demonstrate that we are open for business, with competitive conditions to match our talented workforce. It's crucial that our politicians have a positive vision for British taxpayers outside the EU, and meaningful tax cuts to boost growth and prosperity are an excellent first step."

Read more here


July 03, 2016

George Osborne planning corporation tax cuts to provide post-Brexit vote boost - Telegraph and Argus

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The Chancellor is absolutely right to be considering a big cut to corporation tax, as it would show that the UK is ready to seize new opportunities in the global economy.

"But Mr Osborne must be bold and cut the rate to 10% as soon as possible to really demonstrate that we are open for business, with competitive conditions to match our talented workforce. It's crucial that our politicians have a positive vision for British taxpayers outside the EU, and meaningful tax cuts to boost growth and prosperity are an excellent first step."

Read more here


July 02, 2016

Ambulance bosses rehired following redundancy payouts - Maldon and Burnham Standard

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that taxpayers pick up the tab for generous redundancy packages only to see those that have been let go rehired soon after.

“It is exactly the sort of bad management and lack of foresight we simply cannot afford in the public sector.”

Read more here


July 01, 2016

£1.5trillion! Bill for public sector pensions soars by a third in just 5 years: Experts condemn widening gap with private schemes - Daily Mail

Alex Wild of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

‘These extraordinary numbers just go to show the true scale of the national debt is far in excess of what politicians would have you believe. These public sector schemes are on average five times more generous than those available in the private sector and it simply isn’t fair to expect taxpayers to keep shelling out for them.’

Read more here


June 30, 2016

Britons worried streets will ‘overflow’ with rubbish over new ‘three week’ collections - Daily Express

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Reducing bin collection to every three weeks is a drastic cut to one of the most basic services taxpayers expect their council to provide. How many households will be able to retain three weeks’ rubbish?"

Read more here


June 30, 2016

Ambulance service criticised for putting payouts and perks ahead of patients - Harwich and Manningtree Standard

Dia Chakravarty, from the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is absolutely ludicrous that taxpayers pick up the tab for generous redundancy packages only to see those that have been let go re-hired soon after."

Read more here


June 29, 2016

BBC spends more than £1.5MILLION on taxis in just ONE YEAR - Daily Express

Alex Wild, Taxpayers' Alliance spokesman, said: "This is a vast amount of money to have spent on taxis where in many instances public transport would have been an option.

"BBC staff have a duty to licence fee payers to deliver value for money just like all other public sector workers.

"Spending the equivalent of 160 licence fees on taxis that weren't even used is simply unacceptable."

Read more here


June 29, 2016

Bloated Brussels payouts continue - Daily Express

Harry Davis of the TaxPayers' Alliance criticised the package for Lord Hill.

He said: "Taxpayers will find it hard to stomach yet another pay off for Lord Hill.

"Of course anyone leaving their post will incur costs but officials have a duty to keep expenditure to a minimum.

"And when governments all over Europe are looking for savings, officials really need to justify to taxpayers why someone leaving of their own volition is entitled to such a huge golden goodbye."

Read more here


June 28, 2016

Staff rehired after £1m redundancies - Basildon Recorder

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is absolutely ludicrous that taxpayers pick up the tab for generous redundancy packages only to see those that have been let go rehired soon after.

“It is exactly the sort of bad management and lack of foresight we simply cannot afford in the public sector, particularly at a time when hard-pressed families are having to budget to make ends meet.”

Read more here


June 28, 2016

Welsh health board criticised after advertising for £35,000 a year art manager - Wales Online

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “When budgets are tight and savings need to be made across the public sector, hospital bosses need to make sure that they are using their budgets sensibly.

“Taxpayers expect their hard earned cash to go towards front-line services and not on staff who make the buildings look pretty.”

Read more here


June 28, 2016

Health chiefs defend £35k arts job at Swansea and Neath Port Talbot hospitals - South Wales Evening Post

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "When budgets are tight and savings need to be made across the public sector, hospital bosses need to make sure that they are using their budgets sensibly.

"Taxpayers expect their hard earned cash to go towards front-line services and not on staff who make the buildings look pretty."

Read more here


June 28, 2016

George Osborne to whack Brits with higher taxes and spending cuts after Brexit vote - Daily Star

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The Chancellor has indicated that any budget which looks at new tax and spending measures will be the remit of his successor and rightly so.

"For now, the government must remain calm and take measured approach to implementing the result of the referendum, and seize the exciting opportunity for taxpayers."

Read more here


June 27, 2016

NHS trust rehires bosses AFTER giving them a £1MILLION pay-off - Daily Express

Political director at The Taxpayers' Alliance, Dia Chakravarty, said: "Somebody sanctioned these redundancy payments even though they knew this person would be needed for staff training."

Read more here


June 26, 2016

Apple paid just £12.9m in UK tax last year despite making enough money to cover the entire bill in TWO HOURS - Daily Mail

Apple paid just £12.9million in UK corporation tax last year despite having made enough money to cover the entire bill in a little over two hours.

The California-based technology giant raked in record profits of £12.9billion - which equates to £5.8million an hour - on its worldwide operations in the last three months of 2015.

Read more here


June 25, 2016

Apple pays a tax bill of £17m - despite UK sales of £1.3bn - Daily Mirror

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This is yet another reminder of how public confidence in our insanely complicated tax code has evaporated.”

Read more here


June 25, 2016

BBC splurges MILLIONS on private healthcare for fat-cats – and YOU'RE paying - Daily Express

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the Taxpayers' Alliance pressure group, attacked the BBC's lavish spending.

"It's crazy that the BBC continues to spend thousands of pounds of licence fee payers' cash on private healthcare for its staff. The licence fee shouldn't be spent on luxuries for BBC staffers that many hard-pressed families can't afford for themselves. These are exactly the kind of generous perks seen all too often in publicly-funded organisations – they must be eliminated across the board."

Read more here


June 23, 2016

Council staff look set for cut-price parking - Newark Advertiser

Mr Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Local residents will wonder why, after having paid for such an expensive new building, they will also be made to subsidise the parking costs for civil servants and politicians.

“Hard-pressed families struggling with rising bills simply cannot afford such extravagance.”

Read more here


June 22, 2016

BBC Wales under fire for sending 83-strong team to France to cover Wales at Euro 2016 - South Wales Evening Post

Lee Canning, TaxPayers' Alliance Wales coordinator, was critical of the reported figure of 83 people in France on duty for BBC Wales.

"While it's undoubtedly an exciting time for Welsh football, licence fee payers will want corporation bosses to explain why BBC Wales alone needs to send a squad of more than 80 to cover the tournament," he said. "They could muster more than seven football teams between them! The BBC regularly sends a lot more staff to big events than other broadcasters who seem to manage with far fewer. So with hard-pressed licence fee payers footing the bills, the BBC needs to demonstrate that it is delivering value for money and using resources more efficiently."

Read more here


June 22, 2016

Southend Council slammed for writing off £2m in unpaid debts while imposing major cuts to services - Basildon Recorder

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “When councils should be tightening their belts, they really cannot afford not to collect huge amounts of money they are owed.

“Of course there will be those who struggle to make ends meet, but councils have to differentiate between taxpayers who can’t afford to pay their bills and those who refuse.

“Southend Council must learn the lesson from their mistakes because it’s not fair on ordinary, law-abiding taxpayers for others to get away without paying their share.”

Read more here


June 22, 2016

Bin collections every 3 weeks - Oldham Chronicle

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Reducing bin collection to once every three weeks is a drastic cut to one of the most basic services taxpayers expect their council to provide. 

"How many households will be able to hygienically retain three weeks' worth of rubbish? Local residents will rightly be wondering what exactly their council tax is going towards, particularly as Oldham Council has increased tax 14 times over the last 20 years."

Read more here


June 21, 2016

Six-figure sums for stand-in mental health trust chiefs at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust - Kent Online

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “We are repeatedly assured that these sky-high remuneration packages are justified on the grounds that they attract the right people to the job but it is difficult not to baulk at the amount of money spent on these temporary appointments.

“More must be done to shine a light on these off-book payments so that taxpayers can make sure that their cash is going towards frontline services rather than on the pay packages of public sector bosses.”

Read more here


June 17, 2016

Hundreds of staff at Test Valley Borough Council to get pay rise - Andover Advertiser

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of campaign group the TaxPayers' Alliance, has slammed the proposal.


He said: "At a time when local authorities across the country are having to find necessary savings and hard-pressed families are struggling with rising bills, the Council needs to ask itself if this pay rise can possibly be justified.

“Taxpayers expect their money to fund frontline services like adult social care, not to be used to top up pay packages for council bosses, some of whom already earn three-figure salaries.”

Read more here


June 17, 2016

We pay an average £5,000 per year in indirect taxes - Yahoo Finanace

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said that the splitting of income tax and national insurance is one action that should be looked at. Merging them, he said, "would be a very good move towards transparency and simplicity".

Read more here


June 17, 2016

Every employee at Test Valley Borough Council is set for a pay rise - Daily Echo

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has slammed the proposal.

He said: “At a time when local authorities across the country are having to find necessary savings and hard-pressed families are struggling with rising bills, the council needs to ask itself if this pay rise can possibly be justified.

“Taxpayers expect their money to fund frontline services like adult social care, not to be used to top up pay packages for council bosses, some of whom already earn three-figure salaries.”

But leader of Test Valley Borough Council Ian Carr, pictured, said: “I’ve heard no feedback that it’s under or over. Whatever happens there will be discussions at the committee hearing.”

Read more here


June 16, 2016

Paying for gym memberships will not create long term change - BBC Radio Oxford

Harry Davis discusses the alternatives to Worcestershire council giving out gym memberships.

Listen here


June 16, 2016

Halton Council children's services director becomes Cheshire West And Chester chief executive - Liverpool Echo

A director is leaving Halton Borough Council following his appointment as Cheshire West And Chester Council (CWAC) chief executive.

Gerald Meehan had been working at both local authorities for the past five years, as head of the children and enterprise at Halton and as children’s services at Chester.

According to The Taxpayers’ Alliance lobby group in 2015, Mr Meehan was the second top earner at the council behind chief executive David Parr with Mr Meehan on £168,700 to Mr Parr on £203,900 in remuneration.

Mr Meehan will replacing departing CWAC chief executive Steve Robinson, and is due to earn £30,000 less than his successor with a salary of £150,000.

Read more here


June 16, 2016

Has the chancellor completely undermined his credibility by pledging post-Brexit tax hikes? - City AM

Andrew Allum, chairman of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, says Yes.

George Osborne’s credibility has been hanging by a thread for some time after missing just about every single fiscal target he’s ever set himself, but his latest contribution to the referendum debate is beyond the pale.

He simply cannot possibly know the economic impact a leave vote would have and, besides, any immediate reaction by financial markets would tell us nothing about the effects Brexit would have on the public finances in the long run, be they positive or negative.

Far from being necessary, the proposed tax hikes would damage economic growth, something Osborne has been at great pains to point out during his chancellorship but sadly seems to have forgotten. Just days ago he stated his belief that Brexit would hit the poor, so his plans to increase fuel duty and the basic rate of income tax are nothing short of vindictive. This was not the act of a responsible chancellor, but of a desperate politician.

Read more here


June 16, 2016

NHS pensions are bleeding the taxpayer dry - The Times

The sorry tale of BHS’s collapse highlights the need for better safeguards on pensions, but watching MPs question Sir Philip Green yesterday I think they’ve got their priorities wrong.

Read more here (£)


June 15, 2016

Firefighters accused of 'wasting taxpayers' cash' on rescue of trapped PIGEONS with 120ft crane - Daily Mirror

TaxPayers' Alliance, a low-tax think tank, have previously campaigned against the emergency services wasting money on rescuing small animals such as pigeons.

Campaign Manager Harry Davis said: "This an incredible sorry tale of waste.

"We constantly hear from the Fire Brigade Union that budget cuts will lead to death and destruction but they seem to have time to rescue birds that have survived without their help for thousands of years. Budgets are tight in all areas of the public sector and in future they need to make sure they are using their resources to maximum efficiency."

Read more here


June 14, 2016

Library fines of almost £200 accrued by Gloucester's worst borrowers - Gloucestershire Live

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance said; "It's important that any library fines that are owed should be paid as this helps with the running of a good service.

“But it's also important that the library doesn't become over-reliant on fine revenue otherwise they'll spend more time and energy simply trying to catch people out rather than seeking to encourage sensible behaviour."

Read more here


June 14, 2016

FDF warns against Action on Sugar - British Baker magazine

Last month the Taxpayers’ Alliance said the planned sugar tax will “hit poorest families hardest” and has nothing to do with the sugar content of products.

Read more here


June 13, 2016

Evidence from Mexico shows sugar tax won't be a cure for calorie intake - City AM

Evidence from Mexico’s sugar-sweetened beverage tax shows the UK's sugar levy is unlikely to have any "meaningful impact" on calorie intake, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has claimed.

Read more here


June 12, 2016

Cash-strapped police force forks out £4m on iPads - Daily Express

The move will cost £3.9million but the TaxPayers’ Alliance questioned whether the money could be better spent elsewhere. 

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This will certainly raise eyebrows. At a time when necessary savings are having to be found and police officers across the country are facing pay freeze or worse, can this really be best use of taxpayers’ money? Residents will want to know exactly how these gadgets will keep their streets safe.”

Read more here

 


June 12, 2016

Aid billions ‘are like free BAR TAB’ says TaxPayers’ Alliance chief exec - Daily Express

Last night TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby issued a stark warning to MPs to end spending a fixed 0.7 per cent of our national wealth on overseas aid as they prepared to debate the issue tomorrow.

Read more here


June 11, 2016

EU SUPERSTATE (step 1): Fury over plans for European-wide ‘tax harmonisation’ - Daily Express

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive at the TaxPayers' Alliance, echoed these concerns.

He told Express.co.uk: "This idea will only add further burdens on British taxpayers and harm our ability to be competitive in global markets. If politicians are really serious about clamping down on tax avoidance, then they could start by simplifying the tax code and getting rid of the loopholes that only those with clever accountants can use.

Read more here


June 11, 2016

If we went further in cutting red tape we could unleash the energy of our small businesses - Wales Online

For example, the Taxpayers Alliance estimates that Tolley’s Tax Guide – the handbook of tax legislation – has doubled in length since 1997. Indeed, it is now so long that it would, incredibly, take the world’s fastest speaker about five days to get through it.

Read more here


June 10, 2016

Prices, property, pensions: 30 EU referendum questions answered - The Guardian

A 2009 report published by the TaxPayers’ Alliance claimed that the estimated cost of the CFP was £186 per household per year.

In says: “If we left the EU our fishing industry could face tariffs on exports to the EU, hitting fishing incomes and requiring price rises.”

Out says: “The opening up of British waters to the EU had a devastating effect on the UK’s fishing industry.”

Read more here


June 09, 2016

Taxpayers' money shouldn't be wasted on unnecessary translation - BBC Radio Wales

TPA Wales coordinator Lee Canning argues that it would be a waste of money to translate every Parliamentary debate from Welsh into English.

Listen here


June 09, 2016

Somerset County Council spending £3.2m on highways in Taunton - but refuses to say where - Somerset County Gazette

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Local residents who are paying for this will be furious at the council's refusal to answer questions.

"Hard-pressed families already struggling with rising bills will want to know how this already massively expensive project could've possibly got so out of hand that they're now facing a bill of an extra £3 million.

"Every penny needs to be accounted for and the council needs to come clean."

Read more here


June 08, 2016

15 BBC bosses earning more than the Prime Minister - Daily Express

Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"The BBC talks tough on cracking down on excessive salaries but the truth is that their actions do not match their rhetoric. The regressive licence fee takes a sizeable chunk out of family budgets every year and Corporation bosses need to explain why they are paying some executives over three times the Prime Minister's salary. Licence fee payers expect their cash to go towards high quality programming and not in inflating fat-cat pay packets."

Read more here


June 07, 2016

The European Union has 'no doubt' wasted taxpayers' money - City AM

Andrew Allum, chairman of The Taxpayers’ Alliance, which last week raised concerns over the number of individuals who sit as board-members on more than one quango, said: “In reviewing our analysis over the past eight years, there is no doubt that the EU has wasted British taxpayers' money over time, whether it be the burdens imposed by Common Agricultural Policy, the burgeoning EU quangocracy or the grants we exposed going to TV production companies."

Read more here


June 07, 2016

Cash-strapped Lincolnshire councils forced to spend £3.1m on printed public notices - The Lincolnite

Low tax pressure group The TaxPayers’ Alliance has also lent its support for an overhaul of the current legislation, stating that money wasted in this way could be used to save precious council services.

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Residents will struggle to understand how councils could’ve possibly considered this to be good value for taxpayers’ money.

“When times are hard and authorities across the country are having to make necessary savings, every penny must be spent wisely.

“Councils must get their priorities right and channel precious resources towards funding essential services like adult social care.”

Read more here


June 07, 2016

Land sale to Lidl makes £400k profit for Gloucestershire police - Gloucester Citizen

Taxpayers Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "The Police and Crime Commissioner ought to be thanking his lucky stars that this fiasco has not ended up costing local residents a fortune. No public sector body should be playing property speculator with taxpayers' money.

“The Commissioner can at least now get on with making the most efficient use of existing resources and delivering best value for people in Gloucestershire."

Read more here


June 07, 2016

Could you earn £75,000 as the next Derbyshire police and crime commissioner treasurer? - Derby Telegraph

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Public sector spending in the last decade have grown out of control, so it's important for police forces to have competent staff who can get a grip on the finances.

"But when budgets are as tight as they are, the Derbyshire PCC needs to be able to justify to local residents why this position is being offered at almost three times the national average salary.

"Council tax already takes huge chunks out of taxpayers' pockets so they need to be sure that their hard earned cash is going towards front line services and not in puffed-up pay packets."

Read more here


June 06, 2016

Limited companies engulfed in IT contracts row - Contractor UK

A row over the awarding of IT contracts by public sector figures has engulfed two personal service companies unrelated to each other, in two separate instances of alleged nepotism.

The first instance, branded “astounding” by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, centres on a Surrey-based college boss, who is accused of awarding IT contracts worth £177,000 to her spouse.

Read more here


June 06, 2016

New TPA research uncovers extent of quangocracy - BBC Guernsey

The TaxPayers' Alliance reveals today that despite the government's repeated pledge of a "bonfire of quangos", over 3,000 positions were filled on the boards of quangos in 2014-15. 

Listen here


June 06, 2016

Why take one quango job when you could have five? - Daily Mail

Dozens of so-called quangocrats are 'double-dipping' by taking several taxpayer-funded jobs at the same time, it emerged last night.
The public-sector fat cats are able to earn tens of thousands of pounds by riding the quango 'merry-go-round', the TaxPayers' Alliance said.

The campaign group also said many failed to turn up to board meetings.

The revelations will reignite controversy over the scale of the quango state. In 2010, the then Cabinet minister Francis Maude pledged a 'bonfire of the quangos'.

But six years on, quangos still offer more than 3,000 well-paid board positions.

At least 135 board members sat on more than one quango – a semi-independent official body run by unelected bureaucrats – while 15 sat on more than two, research by the TaxPayers' Alliance found.

Read more here


June 06, 2016

Taxpayers' Alliance hits out at "quangocrat gravy train" - City AM

Over 130 bureaucrats sit on more than a single quango board, according to research from the Taxpayers' Alliance, but less than five per cent made declarations of political activity.

Read more here


June 06, 2016

Cameron's government failed in its promise to have "bonfire of quangos" - Daily Express

The Taxpayers Alliance has exposed a “jobs for the boys culture" still going on more than six years after Mr Cameron became Prime Minister.

The damning report reveals that 3,000 positions were filled on the boards of quangos in 2014-15 alone.

Meanwhile 135 unelected, unaccountable individuals sit on more than one quango board earning thousands of pounds from the taxpayer.

Read more here


June 05, 2016

Should UK's Foreign Aid target be scrapped? - BBC Big Questions


June 03, 2016

Councillors who are not paying council tax should be named - BBC Three Counties

Councillors are the ones setting the rates - and people they represent should know who they are. 

Listen here


June 03, 2016

Three cameras will be installed by Southampton City Council to fine people illegally driving in bus lanes - Southern Daily Echo

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive at the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "People would expect any fines issued for driving in bus lanes to be proportionate, and no-one could be blamed for wondering whether local authorities are using the cameras as way of extracting extra revenue from motorists.

"Councils must avoid becoming over-reliant on fine revenue otherwise they'll spend more time and energy simply trying to catch people out rather than seeking to encourage good behaviour on the roads.

"Motorists in particular must not be seen as 'cash cows' who can be used to fill black holes in local authority budgets."

Read more here


June 02, 2016

Councillor was sent EIGHT council tax bill reminders - including two final notices - Gazette Live


June 02, 2016

Exclusive: Two Luton councillors summoned to court for not paying council tax – but Town Hall chiefs refuse to name them

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has said that residents in Luton “have every right to be angry that their money is being spent pursuing elected representatives who haven’t paid on time”.

The think tank’s campaign manager, Harry Davis, told the Herald & Post:

“Some may be in financial difficulty, in which case they should have the help and support afforded to others. But the rest should be leading by example and anyone who has failed to pay what’s due ought to have the guts to own up. This episode reveals a contempt for transparency and accountability at the heart of local government.”

Read more here


June 02, 2016

Sugar tax benefits - Telegraph Letters

SIR – The TaxPayers’ Alliance report on the sugar tax seems to have missed the point.

The levy is being introduced to help reduce the sugar in fizzy drinks. These products are the single biggest contributor of sugar to children’s diets, accounting for one third of daily consumption. Fizzy drinks are fuelling the serious epidemics of childhood obesity and dental decay.

It is therefore not arbitrary, as the TPA suggests. The idea that children are getting their sugar intake from drinking expensive coffees at Starbucks misrepresents this socially responsible measure, which is aimed at improving young people’s health.

Paul Lincoln
Chief Executive, UK Health Forum
London EC4

Read more here


June 01, 2016

The sugar tax is patronising and the worst of the nanny-state - BBC Ulster

Following the release of TPA research into the sugar tax, Policy Analyst Harry Fairhead argues why it is a regressive step and will hit the poorest hardest. 

Listen here


May 31, 2016

HMRC in business tax blunder which left thousands of overseas taxpayers struggling to make payments - This is Money

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘With an opaque and overly complex tax code, HMRC simply cannot afford to make the payment process difficult and confusing.'

Read more here


May 31, 2016

Millions of pounds spent by Flintshire Council on upkeep of staff cars - News North Wales

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “Any member of council staff using their own vehicle for work purposes will presumably be making mileage claims – which more than cover their petrol and account for many of the other costs of running the vehicle.

“So, local taxpayers can’t be blamed for feeling they are being taken for a ride, given the amount of their cash being pumped into this scheme.

“With council budgets so tight and local authorities needing to justify every penny they spend, Flintshire Council ought urgently to be reviewing whether this scheme is affordable and justifiable.

“At the end of the day, every pound doled out to staff through the scheme is a pound less to be spent on frontline services.”

Read more here


May 31, 2016

HOW WILL THE SUGAR TAX WORK? - Good Housekeeping

The TaxPayer's Alliance (TPA) is calling on the Government to abandon the proposed sugar tax, primarily because it will only affect certain drinks while others are exempt, despite containing similar levels of sugar.

Read more here


May 31, 2016

Millions of pounds spent by Flintshire Council on upkeep of staff cars - The Leader

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

“Any member of council staff using their own vehicle for work purposes will presumably be making mileage claims – which more than cover their petrol and account for many of the other costs of running the vehicle.

“So, local taxpayers can’t be blamed for feeling they are being taken for a ride, given the amount of their cash being pumped into this scheme.

“With council budgets so tight and local authorities needing to justify every penny they spend, Flintshire Council ought urgently to be reviewing whether this scheme is affordable and justifiable.

Read more here

 


May 31, 2016

Anger over NHS gym membership plan for obese people - Evening Standard

Taxpayers’ Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: 

“Squandering taxpayers' money on schemes which don't deliver results means less is available for essential services like adult social care.”

Read more here


May 31, 2016

The Sugar Tax needs to be dropped - Talk Radio

Following the release of our Sugar Tax paper, TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby argues why we need to drop the regressive sugar tax and encourage personal responsibility instead. 

Listen here


May 30, 2016

Demand for cost control sparked as benefits bill increased with £4bn - Express

But Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers deserve better – it turns out that the benefits bill is a long way from being brought under control. 

"This is unsustainable in the long run and the national debt is piling ever higher. There is no way we are going to have a balanced budget unless we make some significant savings. 

“Every area of spending must come under greater scrutiny.” 

Read more here 

 


May 30, 2016

Fat and on benefits? Join gym for free - Hereford Times

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said:

"Local residents will be asking if this can possibly be good use of their hard-earned cash, particularly as similar schemes seem to have achieved very little.

"Personal responsibility is key to losing weight and authorities mustn't lose sight of that.

Read more here


May 30, 2016

If politicians want to improve the nation's health a sugar tax is the wrong way to do it - BBC Radio Ulster

Policy analyst Harry Fairhead speaks to BBC Radio Ulster on how the Sugar Tax is about hitting the poorest hardest; not improving the nation's health.

Listen here


May 30, 2016

The sugar tax is both selective and punitive - LBC Radio

Jonathan Isaby talks about our new research on the Sugar Tax and the drinks that it won't cover.

Listen here


May 30, 2016

Man ordered to pay back £21,000... in £20 installments - Nottingham Post

The campaign TaxPayers' Alliance stressed it was "crucial that fraud was brought down to a minimum and as much money is recovered as possible".

"The system must not push people into poverty but if someone can afford higher repayments, then they should do so," a spokesperson said after the case.

Read more here


May 30, 2016

What difference will the sugar tax have on obesity? - BBC Scotland

Other countries have found a sugar or fat tax has made very little difference to obesity rates, let's learn from other experiences says Jonathan Isaby. 

Listen here


May 30, 2016

Ken Clarke: More than £150m a year is spent keeping 4,000 prisoners in British behind bars indefinitely - The Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"The public finances remain under significant strain so it is vital that taxpayers' money is spent wisely, but it is equally important that we have an effective penal system.

"It certainly makes sense to judge each inmate's sentence on its own merits and requirements: this will involve taking account of a variety of factors including the need to protect the public, the likelihood of rehabilitation into society and indeed costs."

Read more here


May 30, 2016

Sugar tax 'has nothing to do with sugar content' and will 'hit poorest hardest' - Epworth Bells

TPA chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "It is deeply concerning that the Government has given in to the pressures from the public health lobby and is pushing ahead with this regressive tax which will hit the poorest families hardest.

"The evidence shows that the sugar tax has nothing to do with the sugar content of products, so it is farcical to suggest that this will have any positive impact on people's diet or lifestyle choices.

"This is yet another example of irresponsible meddling from the high priests of the nanny state, introducing entirely unnecessary complications into an already complicated tax system and pushing up the cost of everyday products for hard-pressed families."

Read more here


May 30, 2016

Sugar tax 'has nothing to do with sugar content' and will 'hit poorest hardest' - Berkhamsted and Tring Gazette

The sugar tax will be an arbitrary burden on the poor which takes no account of the actual make-up of drinks, critics have warned.

The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) said some beverages laden with sugar will be exempt from the levy.

Read more here


May 30, 2016

REVEALED: Chauffeur-driven cars, first class travel and hundreds of pounds in allowances without filing a single receipt: The truth about politicians’ obscure European ‘talking shops’ - Mail Online

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers should not have to pay for business class travel and pricey chauffeur-driven cars for politicians attending these meetings in Europe. 

'Their claims for these jaunts should be subject to the same standards of transparency as all their other parliamentary expenses. 

'The public will certainly be concerned to learn that seven years on from the MPs’ expenses scandal, the culture of politicians drawing on taxpayers’ cash without providing receipts has not yet been entirely eradicated.' 


May 30, 2016

If politicians want to reduce the cost of living raising taxes isn't a good start - BBC Scotland

The ill-considered sugar tax will allow expensive, sugar-laden drinks to slip through the cracks rather than improving the nation's health. 

Listen here


May 30, 2016

Sugar Tax 'Will Hit The Poorest Hardest' - Sky News

TPA chief executive Jonathan Isaby told Sky News the policy has "descended into farce".

He said: "It (the results of the study) suggests to us the Government has not thought through this proposal whatsoever, we're calling for them to scrap it.

Mr Isaby added: "The Government should scrap it, strangle it at birth, before the thing even gets off the ground.

"It will be a huge administrative burden and it would hit the poorest hardest in terms of the weekly shop."

Read more here


May 30, 2016

Government strategy on the sugar tax is all over the place - BBC Wales

We need to get people moving rather than clobbering them with the blunt and ill-thought out sugar tax. 

Listen here


May 30, 2016

Lib Dem peer charged taxpayer £9,000 to fly business class for 4-minute speech - The Telegraph

A Liberal Democrat peer charged the taxpayer almost £9,000 for a business class flight home from America to make a parliamentary speech that lasted just four minutes. 

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told The Sunday Times: “Given the brevity of Lord Paddick’s intervention, taxpayers can’t be blamed for feeling fleeced after funding the round trip of nearly £9,000.

 

Read more here


May 30, 2016

Rip-off cost of parking over bank holidays: Unsuspecting motorists being hit with fines as cash-strapped councils look to raise extra revenue - Mail Online

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

‘Councils must be careful not to impose punitive parking charges which discourage residents from driving to the shops on their local high street. Motorists already pay a huge amount in taxes, so local authorities need to ensure any charges are reasonable and proportionate for hard-pressed families.’

Read more here


May 30, 2016

Exclusive: Cash-strapped ambulance service pays £600k compensation to own staff - The Yorkshire Post

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said every penny paid out was money taken away from frontline services.

He said: “Bosses at the trust must do their best to ensure they live up to the legal standards as required by law, while accepting that accidents do happen.

“Of course some of the payments will be entirely justified, and concerns must be listened to when they are raised as the most serious accidents can ruin lives. But the trust must also root out those who are playing the system with spurious demands for taxpayers’ cash as every penny paid out in compensation is a penny taken away from frontline services.”

Read more here


May 30, 2016

Information, education and parental responsibility will be much more effective than a sugar tax - Five Live

Minute changes in lifestyle and a large hit to the pocket will only benefit the Treasury. 

Listen here


May 30, 2016

Sugar tax on soft drinks will be ‘burden on the poor’ - The Scotsman

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) said some beverages laden with sugar will be exempt from the levy.

The TPA insists the Budget measure should be junked after it carried out a comparison of 49 different drinks across three areas, fizzy and energy drinks that will be taxed, and milk-based ones, and coffees, that will not.

TPA chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: ““The evidence shows that the sugar tax has nothing to do with the sugar content of products, so it is farcical to suggest that this will have any positive impact on diet or lifestyle choices.”

Read more here


May 30, 2016

Middle-class latte drinkers will escape the sugar tax, while poor will pay - The Telegraph

The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA), a campaign for lower taxes, said the controversial sugar tax will be an arbitrary burden on the poor as it targets fizzy drinks which are disproportionately consumed by lower socioeconomic groups. 

The TPA claims wants the tax scrapped as it takes no account of the amount of sugar in drinks, as some beverages laden with sugar such as syrupy lattes and juices will be exempt

Read more here


May 30, 2016

How peer’s four-minute speech cost you £9,000 - Express

“Unelected peers talking about being ‘entitled’ to travel business class on the taxpayer will do nothing to instil public confidence that they are being careful with our hardearned cash.”

 

Read more here


May 29, 2016

Sugar tax is arbitrary and unfair, says pressure group - The Guardian

TPA chief executive Jonathan Isaby said:

“It is deeply concerning that the government has given in to the pressures from the public health lobby and is pushing ahead with this regressive tax, which will hit the poorest families hardest.

“The evidence shows that the sugar tax has nothing to do with the sugar content of products, so it is farcical to suggest that this will have any positive impact on people’s diet or lifestyle choices.

“This is yet another example of irresponsible meddling from the high priests of the nanny state, introducing entirely unnecessary complications into an already complicated tax system and pushing up the cost of everyday products for hard-pressed families.”

Read more here


May 29, 2016

Fury as £100m in legal aid is wasted on cases that are never heard in courts - Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, urged the authorities to correct mistakes.

He added: “Taxpayers will be shocked to see tens of millions of their cash being spent each year on cases that never come to court.”

Read more here


May 29, 2016

Taxpayer footed £9,000 bill so Lib Dem peer Brian Paddick could deliver FOUR MINUTE speech in parliament - Mail Online

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Given the brevity of Lord Paddick's intervention, taxpayers can't be blamed for feeling fleeced after funding the round trip of nearly £9,000.

'Were no economy class flights available? Unelected peers talking about being 'entitled' to travel business class on the taxpayer will do nothing to instil public confidence that they are being careful with our hard-earned cash.'

Read more here


May 29, 2016

It's criminal: 100s of cops being paid to do nothing – two PCs not worked for FOUR years - Daily Star

Jonathan Isaby, boss at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers will be shocked that such a large number of officers are off on full pay at any given time.

"Not only does this place an unfair burden on taxpayers, it's also unfair on the officers whose cases are waiting to be resolved.

"Authorities need to deal with suspended officers quickly and efficiently so that they can get on with their lives and so that hard-pressed families aren't left to pick up the bill for absent officers."

Read more here


May 28, 2016

Hammers Criticised for Political Donation - Vital Football

Returning to the previously mentioned Taxpayers Alliance, the chief executive Jonathan Isaby has remarked, 

'While political donations are a private matter for a club and its shareholders, serious questions remain to be answered about this dubious stadium deal. Taxpayers have paid for this preposterously generous deal and the authorities must address our concerns around it."

Read more here


May 28, 2016

Fans Blast Irons’ £12.5k Tory Gift - Morning Star

The right-wing Taxpayers Alliance said the donation raised “serious questions” about a stadium deal it described as both “dubious” and “preposterously generous.”

Read more here


May 28, 2016

Exclusive: The Yorkshire councillors who haven’t paid their council tax - The Yorkshire Post

The TaxPayers’ Alliance, which campaigns on public spending, said residents would be “shocked” to see so many councillors had run-up arrears.

Read more here


May 28, 2016

GPs are paid £350million a year to look after their 'ghost patients' who have died or moved to a different area - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

'Taxpayers will be furious. A system which allows over two million more people to be registered than there are in the country is clearly deeply flawed.'

Read more here


May 27, 2016

West Ham's £12,500 donation to the Conservative Party raises 'serious questions' over 'dubious stadium deal' - The Telegraph

The Taxpayers' Alliance said this raises "serious questions" over the "dubious stadium deal".

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said this raised serious questions about the agreement.

He said: "While political donations are a private matter for a club and its shareholders, serious questions remain to be answered about this dubious stadium deal. Taxpayers have paid for this preposterously generous deal and the authorities must address our concerns around it."

Read more here


May 27, 2016

GPs given £8K for children's private school fees in desperate bid to fill remote surgeries

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:


"This will certainly raise eyebrows. We are forever hearing pleas for more money to be put into the NHS so taxpayers will be right to question if the authorities have got their priorities right.

"Hard-pressed families expect their taxes to pay for nurses and cancer drugs, not to be wasted on fees for expensive boarding schools which many cannot afford for their own children."

Read more here


May 27, 2016

Leaks show doctors' leaders aimed to tie Government 'in knots' over contract row - Buckingham Today

Doctors' leaders aimed to tie the Department of Health "in knots" for up to 18 months in the row over a new contract, leaked messages reveal.

Read more here


May 26, 2016

Leaks show doctors' leaders aimed to tie Government 'in knots' over contract row - Mid Devon Star

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Patients will be appalled to discover that far from being concerned for their safety, the BMA has been playing a 'political game' to maximise disruption in the NHS.

Read more here


May 26, 2016

The Junior Doctors' strike was about pay, the BMA should just come clean - LBC

TPA Research Director Alex Wild discusses the leaked Whatsapp messages suggesting pay was at the heart of the junior doctors' strike.

Listen here


May 26, 2016

Taxpayer cash spent on hush contracts for council bosses - North West Evening Mail

The use of the hush contracts for public sector employees - known officially as compromise or settlement agreements - has been heavily criticised by politicians and public interest campaign groups such as The Taxpayers' Alliance.

Read more here


May 26, 2016

Inside the tiny office Poole council spent £10,000 turning into video call room - Bournemouth Echo

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Local residents will be left wondering how an apparently cash-strapped council can possibly consider this to be good value for taxpayers' money. Hard-pressed families expect their taxes to pay for essential services, not to be squandered on plush offices." 

Read more here


May 25, 2016

Should we ring-fence our foreign aid budget? - Sky News Tonight


May 25, 2016

A small, cash-strapped Welsh university paid £490,000 for TWO vice chancellors in one year - Wales Online

Lee Canning, Wales co-ordinator for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This is purely a case of Welsh jobs for the boys, excelling the careers of a few now and harming the careers of many in the future.”

Read more here


May 25, 2016

Fury as foreign aid bill rockets to £13BN...and we're the ONLY ones sticking to UN target - The Express

"Handing over all this money, often to countries riddled with corruption, is insane and unjustifiable." Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "The 0.7 per cent spending target is a totally arbitrary and meaningless figure. "The worst possible way to deliver value when spending taxpayers' cash is to define the success of a policy by financial inputs rather than what the money actually achieves."

Read more here


May 25, 2016

Weight loss surgery should be the last possible solution, not the first - BBC Tees

TPA Political Director Dia Chakravarty discusses the report out today that says Gastric Bands should be offered as routinely as knee operations.

Listen here


May 23, 2016

EU students leave UK taxpayers £89MILLION bill by fleeing without paying tuition fees - The Express

A staggering £89million has not been paid after 12,134 students from European Union countries went missing after graduating from British universities.

The embarrassing admission by the Student Loan Company (SLC) comes at a time when around one in 10 British students are being forced to drop out of university due to the high cost of tuition fees.

Read more here


May 23, 2016

'Missing' EU graduates owe £89m in loans - Daily Mail

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Taxpayers will be deeply concerned to see such eye-watering sums of money just written off.

 

'The Student Loans Company has to get a handle on its processes, and universities need to do more to ensure that students are serious about study as opposed to picking up cheap loans they have no intention of paying back. The SLC have to remember that when money isn't recovered, it is taxpayers who are left to pick up the bill.'

Read more here


May 23, 2016

Boris Johnson Set to Receive £70k Parachute pay From City Hall - The London Economic

Campaigners have been quick to ridicule the generous taxpayer-funded pay, with TaxPayers’ Alliance Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby telling The Sun newspaper that most people are probably surprised such “golden goodbyes” still exist.

“With the Government rightly committed to cutting the cost of politics, this is a reminder that the system is still in need of reform.

“Elected mayors are effectively on fixed term four-year contracts so there is no justification whatsoever for them being entitled to further dollops of taxpayers’ cash in so-called resettlement payments when they step down”, he said.

Read more here


May 22, 2016

Torture regime's £2.1million to train prison guards: UK foreign aid is revealed after Bahrain's human rights record is criticised - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘The foreign aid budget is bloated, focuses on inputs rather than outcomes and its record for promoting freedom is poor.’

Read more here


May 22, 2016

‘Expensive’ supply teachers in district - Ely Standard

Pressure group TaxPayers’ Alliance highlighted its concern about the ‘continuity’ of changing teachers.

Harry Davis, campaign manager of the group, told the Mercury: “Parents will be concerned to see their children are being taught by a series of different supply teachers.

“There is an onus on schools to plug gaps in timetables with staff from within their own ranks where possible and only use expensive supply teachers as a last resort.”

Read more here


May 22, 2016

Network Rail staff spend OVER £600k a year on FLIGHTS - Daily Express

Harry Davis, the campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“Hard-pressed commuters who struggle in to work every day on expensive, overcrowded trains will be staggered to hear about the travel freebies enjoyed by rail bosses. Maybe if the fat cats took the train more often, they’d be working a lot harder to bring our rail service up to scratch.”

Read more here


May 20, 2016

Protestors accuse Hastings council of wasting taxpayers’ money - Hastings Observer

Tax campaigners accused Hastings council of wasting taxpayers’ money through unnecessary schemes during a protest outside its offices today (Friday, May 20).

The Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) believes Hastings Borough Council has ‘frittered away’ £450,000 on temporary agency staff in nine months and wasted £113,710 signing only 18 properties to its letting agency.

Read more here


May 20, 2016

Secret finale to be screened on day after 25th anniversary of murders of Trevor Buchanan and Lesley Howell - Belfast Telegraph

Pressure group the TaxPayers' Alliance said last night it was unhappy at the way our cash had been handed over.

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby told the Belfast Telegraph: "This is shocking. Many taxpayers will be astounded to learn that a body even exists to throw their money at commercial TV productions in this way.

"But the fact that their cash has been subsidising a programme whose producers already have questions to answer about the treatment of murder victims' families will only intensify their concerns."

Read more here


May 20, 2016

The government missed a great opportunity to reform the licence fee - BBC London

TPA Policy Analyst Harry Fairhead argues that the Government has missed a great opportunity to bring the licence fee into the 21st Century. 

Listen here


May 20, 2016

The two councillors who help set council tax - but were summonsed to court for not paying it - Prestwich and Whitefield Guide

Campaigners from the Taxpayers' Alliance have emphasised the need for councillors, who decide what the council tax should be each year, to practice what they preach.

"The problem is that councillors are not like anyone else when it comes to council matters," said a Taxpayers' Alliance spokesman.

He added: "They have been elected specifically to ensure the machinery of local government is run efficiently and effectively — and that includes paying their own council tax on time.

"Ordinary residents who pay up on time are entitled to know which of their councillors aren't doing the same.

"Councillors must pay on time to set a good example and to ensure that essential services are properly funded."

Read more here


May 20, 2016

Crackdown on staggering £3.1bn benefit fraud could CLEAR NHS debt - The Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

“The welfare system remains dogged by complexity and we can see the authorities are still losing significant sums of taxpayers’ money as a consequence. When people cheat the system, they are not just taking from taxpayers, they are also taking from the neediest in society. It is concerning to see the level of fraud still extremely high in some benefits, so there can be no room for complacency for ministers with still much more to do.”

Read more here


May 19, 2016

What's wrong with spending £4,000 on flowers and £1,100 on the ballet? - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty of the TaxPayers' Alliance said:

No one will begrudge footing the bill for official functions which the Lord Speaker would reasonably be expected to host, but serious questions need to be asked about whether all this spending by her office is appropriate.

Taxpayers will in particular want to know why their money was spent on tickets to the ballet, five star hotels, external caterers, PR advice and thousands of pounds worth of flowers. All the costs incurred by the Lord Speaker must be kept under constant review and savings found where possible.

Furthermore, how Baroness D’Souza and her staff spend taxpayers' money should be published as a matter of course so that it can be subject to proper and regular scrutiny.

Read more here


May 19, 2016

The two councillors who help set council tax - but were summonsed to court for not paying it - Bury Times

Campaigners from the Taxpayers' Alliance have emphasised the need for councillors, who decide what the council tax should be each year, to practice what they preach.

"The problem is that councillors are not like anyone else when it comes to council matters," said a Taxpayers' Alliance spokesman.

He added: "They have been elected specifically to ensure the machinery of local government is run efficiently and effectively — and that includes paying their own council tax on time.

"Ordinary residents who pay up on time are entitled to know which of their councillors aren't doing the same.

"Councillors must pay on time to set a good example and to ensure that essential services are properly funded."

He added that, while it is unfortunate that even councillors are hit by financial problems beyond their control, it is vital that they seek help from the council at the earliest opportunity — as they would advise a constituent to do.

Read more here


May 18, 2016

Sugar tax to come into effect in 2018 - Business Reporter

A sugar tax that could hit drinks such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Red Bull will come into force from 2018. The tax, unveiled by George Osborne as part of the Budget in March, will be set out in the Finance Bill 2017, before targeting producers and importers from 2018. 

Read more here


May 18, 2016

Cardboard Policemen are a gimmick and a waste of money - BBC Essex

TPA Research Director Alex Wild argues that the use of 'Cardboard Policemen' to deter local residents from throwing items into prisons is a waste money.

Listen here


May 18, 2016

Sugar tax to come into effect in 2018 - Shropshire Star

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is deeply concerning that the Government is pushing ahead with this regressive charge in spite of the overwhelming body of evidence showing that it's doomed to failure.

"The solution to tackling obesity and other health problems related to lifestyle choices is better education and personal responsibility. Slapping arbitrary taxes on a few products due to pressure from the taxpayer-funded health lobby will hit the poorest and fail to achieve the desired results."

Read more here


May 18, 2016

Eight’s a crowd for Lib Dems - The Times Diary

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has written to the NHS asking for details of its pension scheme and has come up against a bureaucratic brick wall. The NHS replied that it had 1,985,056 pension records and that it would take half an hour to analyse each one of the first 1.4 million and an hour to analyse each of the other 600,000. By my calculations, the NHS would take 1,290,286 hours to provide information on its own pension pot or, in old money, just over 147 years. Given that he’ll be free after July 6, this sounds right up Sir John Chilcot’s street.

Read more here


May 18, 2016

Derby NHS sex scandal: £173k of YOUR cash spent on report (but we're not allowed to read it all) - Derby Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive at the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "It is completely unacceptable for an NHS trust to hide this information from the public. One of the purposes of this kind of investigation is to identify mistakes made so that lessons can be learned that will prevent those mistakes from being repeated in the future.

"A large amount of money has been spent on this report and it ought to be published in full rather than simply the sections which suit the trust."

Read more here


May 17, 2016

The cost of Trident successor must be kept under control - Heart Scotland

As we release our paper on defence procurement, Alex Wild argues that it is absolutely crucial that lessons are learnt from previous mistakes to make sure taxpayers aren't paying the price for bungled defence contracts.

Listen here


May 16, 2016

Tax campaigners: Hastings council ‘wasting taxpayer’s money’ - Hastings Observer

Political campaigners who accuse the council of not spending taxpayer’s money properly will be visiting Hastings on Friday (May 20)

Read more here


May 15, 2016

How EU dishes out £500m of YOUR cash in 'AID' to paradise islands - The Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "All of these territories have long-standing constitutional relationships with the countries of which they are dependencies, so it is unclear why the European Union needs to be interfering.

"Taxpayers will rightly want to question why the EU is spraying our money to far-flung islands around the world in this way."

Read more here


May 15, 2016

NHS spends record £3.9m of taxpayer’s money on pills for alcoholics - The Daily Star

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “People should be expected to take responsibility for their own health as far as possible and prescribing drugs for some of these addictions should be the last resort rather than the norm.

“While addicts may need medication, it is not necessarily a silver bullet as they also require willpower, which is sadly not available on the NHS.”

Read more here


May 15, 2016

Cash-strapped Tower Hamlets splashes out £3m on award-winning architects for civic centre - The Evening Standard

But TaxPayers Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "Taxpayers will be amazed that their new civic centre is costing such a huge amount to design.

"Councils across the country are having to scrutinise their budgets at every turn, and it has to be asked whether Tower Hamlets council could have got a better deal.

"The council should demonstrate that they got the best possible value for money to the local taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill."

Read more here


May 15, 2016

The BBC will get a staggering £40 BILLION of taxpayers' cash under new charter - The Express

THE BBC will receive a guaranteed £40billion of taxpayers' cash under a new charter agreement, despite a third of viewers thinking the licence fee should be slashed.

Read more here


May 14, 2016

The Licence fee is archaic, the government has missed an opportunity - BBC York

TPA Policy Analyst Harry Fairhead argues that the government has missed a big opportunity to create a fairer system of funding the BBC.

Listen here


May 14, 2016

BBC refuses to reveal how much was spent on Top Gear's infamous Cenotaph stunt - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, added: 'People are right to be angry about the Beeb's lack of judgement around the Cenotaph stunt. BBC bosses need to make sure that licence fee-payers' money isn't wasted on such insensitive programming.'

Read more here


May 13, 2016

£1.4m bid to encourage recycling 'FAILED to reduce rubbish landfill levels' - The Express

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This is another example of well-intended schemes costing taxpayers a fortune without delivering significant results.

"When hard-pressed families are struggling with rising bills, authorities must do better to ensure value for money when approving funding for these schemes. Every penny wasted like this is a penny taken away from essential services like flood prevention."

Read more here


May 13, 2016

Did the White Paper go far enough? - BBC Devon

TPA Policy Analyst Harry Fairhead argues that the Government has missed a golden opportunity to reform the BBC for the better.

Listen here


May 13, 2016

Daytime viewers' favourites facing the axe - This is Money

BBC daytime favourites like Bargain Hunt, Homes Under the Hammer and Escape to the Country could be axed because they have been running for too long, it was revealed today.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has unveiled the Government's White Paper on the corporation's future and said the BBC must end its obsession with 'chasing ratings'.

Read more here


May 13, 2016

Missed chances to reform BEEB - Daily Mail

The death knell was sounded for the licence fee yesterday as sweeping changes to the BBC were announced.

Read more here


May 12, 2016

BBC reforms - The Independent

But Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance said the Government had “ducked the opportunity for substantial reform of the regressive and arcane TV licence fee”.

“With the technology now in place for people to subscribe to their choice of thousands of competing channels and watch them wherever they happen to be, the time has surely come to explore a new, fairer funding model fit for the 21st century,” he said.

Read more here


May 12, 2016

TV licence fee payers are being ‘let down’ as stars’ salaries stay secret from taxpayers - Daily Express

Mr Isaby added: “Other public bodies are rightly obliged to reveal far greater detail about all those on sixfigure salaries and the Government has offered no justification for allowing the BBC to escape that scrutiny.” 

Read more here


May 12, 2016

'It's not rocket science - pay us less!' - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group, said: 'It is regrettable that the Government has ducked the opportunity for substantial reform of the regressive and arcane TV licence fee'.

Read more here


May 12, 2016

The BBC White Paper - BBC News


May 12, 2016

What should we do with the Licence Fee? - BBC Kent

TPA Policy Analyst Harry Fairhead discusses the new White Paper on the BBC and why it could have been better.

Listen here


May 12, 2016

MPs who employ relatives pay them £5,600 more than other staff, watchdog claims - The Independent

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “MPs should remain free to employ family members, but only on the proviso that they are subject to the highest levels of transparency about who is being paid how much and for what.

“This information needs to be readily available for constituents to scrutinise so that they can hold their MP to account and, if appropriate, ask searching questions about the arrangements. Openness and transparency are vital if the public are to be confident that the system is not being abused as people would certainly have concerns if family members were getting better pay deals than MPs' other staff.”

He added: “The same rules should apply throughout the public sector. Taxpayers will rightly be angry to see people being hired to work for another MP so soon after receiving a sizeable pay-off.”

“This costly revolving door culture has been halted elsewhere in the public sector and MPs' staff should not be exempt from this. IPSA is right to highlight this problem and should now look at stopping these avoidable pay-outs.”

Read more here


May 11, 2016

Councils shouldn't see motorists as cash cows - BBC Stoke

TPA Research Director Alex Wild discusses council parking fines on BBC Stoke.

Listen here


May 11, 2016

Hired family members earn thousands of pounds more than other staff - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign group, said: ‘MPs should remain free to employ family members, but only on the proviso that they are subject to the highest levels of transparency.’

Read more here


May 11, 2016

Alex Chisholm on the CMA’s achievements over the last 2 years - Hansard

"Indeed as part of the performance framework set by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and HM Treasury, we are obliged to deliver £10 in directly measurable consumer welfare for every £1 we spend – a ratio the Taxpayers’ Alliance would no doubt like to see replicated across government!"

Read more here


May 11, 2016

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council sets aside £50,000 for person who tripped on mat - Hinckley Times

A trip over a mat could end up costing Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council £50,000 in compensation.

The authority has already paid £67,000 in compensation in two years for trips, falls and minor injuries and this could rise to £117,000 if the latest claim is settled.

Nearly £10,000 was paid to a person who tripped on a low bar from an unused market stall last year, more than £6,500 was paid to somebody who tripped on a pothole, but escaped injury, and £2,000 was paid to somebody who tripped over a public toilet.

The figures come from a freedom of information request by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Read more here


May 11, 2016

PoliticsHome Memo - Wednesday 11 May

The comments come after the watchdog decided in 2010 not to act on the practice of MPs handing jobs to their relatives beyond limiting them to one per MP. The findings also show 125 people employed by MPs were given a collective £925,000 in redundancy payments last year before returning to work for a different MP within 10 weeks. That sound you can hear is the Taxpayers’ Alliance screaming in outrage.

Read more here


May 11, 2016

Wages soar for relatives of MPs on public payroll - This is Money

Family members hired by MPs at taxpayers’ expense earn thousands of pounds more than other staff and are seeing their salaries rocket, a report reveals today.
Their pay is on average £5,600 higher, and going up at twice the rate of other staff in Parliament, raising concerns that politicians are using it as a way of boosting their family income.

Read more here


May 10, 2016

Should those who come to the UK from outside the EU pay more for medical procedures? - BBC Oxford

TPA Research Director Alex Wild argues that it is right that some of the money should be recouped from foreign patients who use the NHS.

Listen here


May 10, 2016

Paul Scully cites the TPA during the debate relating to the Government’s EU referendum leaflet - Westminster Hall


May 09, 2016

Eurosceptic MPs slam government's £9.3m EU referendum "propaganda" leaflet - City AM

The leaflets have also previously been condemned by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said last month: "This is a disgraceful abuse of taxpayers' money.

"When cash is scarce and budgets are tight, politicians should not be wasting nearly £10m of our cash on political propaganda.

"The country is having an important debate about its relationship with the EU and it is essential that it is held on a level playing field.”

Read more here


May 09, 2016

Is it right for the NHS to charge non-EU patients for medical procedures? - Talk Radio

Alex Wild discusses with Julia Hartley-Brewer whether non-EU patients should be charged to use the NHS.

Listen here


May 09, 2016

Benefits mum of EIGHT gets job so she can AVOID cap and land £31k in taxpayer handouts - Daily Express

Marie Buchan, nicknamed Octomum due to the vast number of children she has, will be given £31,000 a year in handouts after taking on a three-day-a-week role as a carer.

Ms Buchan, from Selly Oak in Birmingham, has admitted the main reason she looked for employment - her first job in 16 years - was to avoid the benefits cap that limits handouts to £26,000 a year.

Read more here


May 09, 2016

Migrants will pay MORE for NHS: New charges for A&E and prescriptions - Daily Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "For too long it's been far too easy for migrants cone to the country and use NHS services without contributing through taxes. "We have a national, not an international health service and at a time when savings have to be made, the Government is absolutely right to introduce these charges to make sure taxpayers aren't left short-changed." 

Read more here


May 09, 2016

Instead of closing regional offices, the government should just scrap BIS altogether - BBC Sheffield

As Parliament discusses closing Sheffield's regional office, TPA Research Director Alex Wild  argues that it would be more sensible just to scrap the bloated and redundant BIS altogether and reassign its duties to other departments.

Listen here


May 08, 2016

Benefits mother of eight finally lands a job for first time in 16 years but only so she can INCREASE the handouts she can claim to £31,000 a year - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, from watchdog the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'It's great that the system is helping people back into work but it seems absurd that getting a job can end up costing taxpayers more.

 

'Ministers should seek to make work pay without causing the benefits bill to rise further.'

He added: 'It is also unfair that the welfare system forces taxpayers to fund a lifestyle for others that they probably can't afford for themselves.

'Many Brits make difficult decisions about how big a family they can afford and those relying on benefits should not be immune from those tough choices.' 

Read more here


May 06, 2016

Market debt still not paid - Sheffield Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said it was important to differentiate between law-abiding traders and those who were refusing to pay money they owed.

Ms Chakravarty said: “It is important that the council distinguishes between those who are unable to pay their dues and those who are simply refusing to do so in order to make sure that law-abiding traders are left with a bigger bill than their fair share.

“However, it is also important that rates are kept low in order to ease the burden on hard-pressed taxpayers already struggling with ever-rising bills.”

Read more here


May 06, 2016

Shocking map shows the towns GUZZLING the most benefits cash in Britain - Daily Express

Harry Davis, a spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "The welfare system has to be a safety net for people who have fallen on tough times, not a long-term alternative to employment.

"A system where being on benefits can actually pay more than being in work is counterproductive and requires urgent reform.

"Our politicians need to do a lot more to remove complexity from the system which will not only help people break out of the benefits trap but also go a long way towards putting our public finances back on track."

Read more here


May 06, 2016

The benefits capital of Britain is revealed: New map shows which parts of the country guzzle the biggest chunks of UK's £161BILLION welfare bill - Daily Mail

This map reveals the areas which receive the biggest chunks of Britain's £161billion welfare bill, with some guzzling six times more in handouts than other parts of the nation.


New figures show the benefits capital is Knowsley, in Merseyside, which received a total of £149.8million last year after pension payments were stripped out.

Read more here


May 05, 2016

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Candidates quizzed by the public ahead of election - Luton on Sunday

Absolutely, whoever you choose. Immediately before the introduction of PCCs, the independent Taxpayers' Alliance studied the old Police Authorities. It found that Chief Executives paid themselves an average of £90,000 per annum, up to £250,000. The Prime Minister earns just over £140,000 by comparison.

Read more here


May 05, 2016

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Candidates quizzed by the public ahead of election - Bedfordshire on Sunday

Kathryn Holloway: Absolutely, whoever you choose. Immediately before the introduction of PCCs, the independent Taxpayers' Alliance studied the old Police Authorities. It found that Chief Executives paid themselves an average of £90,000 per annum, up to £250,000. The Prime Minister earns just over £140,000 by comparison. The Chairs earned around £25,000 each and the members charged just over £10 million in attendance expenses in the last year of existence. Importantly, these members were not democratically elected and accountable. If you do not like what any one of us does you can make it known at the ballot box and get rid of us!

Read more here


May 04, 2016

Eastleigh Borough Council to spend £3.6m on new Marks & Spencer store - Daily Echo

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, previously said: “There appears to be a lot of confusion around this arrangement.

“Residents are entitled to raise questions and ask for clarifications, which the council has a responsibility to address.

“At a time when councils across the country are having to find necessary savings, the authorities must take particular care when spending taxpayers’ money.”

Read more here


May 02, 2016

What is Wales' top sick day for public sector workers? - BBC News

Jonathan Isaby, chief Executive of campaign group the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the difference is "considerable".
"Greater accountability along with stringent reporting requirements could address this problem, which would be in the interest of everyone concerned," he said.

Read more here


May 01, 2016

Crisis-hit ambulance service facing £50million in cuts spends £500,000 on a fleet of luxury cars for its executives including Jaguar XF and Mercedes C220 - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told MailOnline: 'Budgets are tight at the moment so trusts should be focusing every single penny of taxpayers' money on providing services, not wasting it on the latest 4x4 for the top brass. 

'No matter how much money we spend on the NHS it is constantly under the strain of increasing demand, so there is absolutely no room to waste taxpayers' money on toys for the boys.

'Taxpayers deserve better value for their hard-earned money.'

Read more here


May 01, 2016

Should the government intervene at BHS? - BBC 5 Live

TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby discusses with Stephen Nolan and the IEA's Mark Littlewood whether the government should use taxpayers' money to help out BHS.

Listen here


April 29, 2016

TPA Reaction - Former Labour MEP Peter Skinner is jailed - BBC Radio Kent

TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby gives his reaction to the jailing of former MEP Peter Skinner to BBC Radio Kent.

Listen here


April 28, 2016

Rationing in the NHS will continue - Five News


April 28, 2016

Police cash for archery lessons splits opinion among crime commissioner hopefuls - Sevenoaks Chronicle

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This will certainly raise eyebrows. When authorities are having to find necessary savings taxpayers will wonder if this can be the best use of their money."

The £550 for the archery is part of the commissioner's youth diversion fund, which aims to educate young people and divert them away from crime and anti-social behaviour.

Around £61 million of cuts have been made to Kent Police since 2010 and up to 1,220 job cuts have been made across the force.

Mr Isaby added: "Innovative ways of keeping kids out of trouble can be a good thing but costs must be kept down. Residents will want to keep a close eye on the scheme to see if it really does yield results."

Read more here


April 27, 2016

Like it or not the NHS is run by politicians - BBC Suffolk

Alex Wild speaks to BBC Radio Suffolk on the junior doctor strikes and how we've got to this point. 

Listen here


April 26, 2016

Eastleigh Borough Council criticised for secrecy over Marks and Spencer contract - Southern Daily Echo

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “There appears to be a lot of confusion around this arrangement.

“Residents are entitled to raise questions and ask for clarifications, which the council has a responsibility to address.

“At a time when councils across the country are having to find necessary savings, the authorities must take particular care when spending taxpayers’ money.”


April 25, 2016

Eastleigh Borough Council criticised for secrecy over Marks and Spencer contract - Hampshire Chronicle

A deal hatched between civic bosses in Eastleigh and Marks and Spencer to bring the High Street name to the town has caused controversy after the authority refused to say how much public money it is spending to support the scheme.

Read more here


April 22, 2016

Should smokers and obese people be refused surgery? - BBC Tees

TPA Research Director Alex Wild argues that blanket banning of procedures on the basis of someones lifestyle choice is a dangerous path to go down. 

Listen here


April 22, 2016

Should smokers and obese people be refused surgery? - Sky News


April 21, 2016

It's time for the Commons to modernise and abandon vellum - BBC Three Counties

TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby argues that where money can be saved, it should be saved - it's time for Parliament to stop using vellum. 

Listen here


April 21, 2016

Should taxpayers' money be spent telling ramblers to be polite? - Sky News Debate


April 20, 2016

Taxpayers foot £4million bill to pay foreigners who were unlawfully detained by UK authorities - Daily Mail

But Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance said the figures not only revealed wasteful government spending but also exposed an affront on individual liberties.
'Taxpayers will rightly be angry that their money is being wasted as a result of avoidable errors by the authorities,' he said.
'Not only is illegal detention an affront to the freedom of those subject to it but the resulting compensation payouts are a drain on Britain's already strained public finances.
'The Home Office and all other bodies involved urgently need to review their processes and do a better job of protecting taxpayers' money.'

Read more here


April 20, 2016

Should we stop ringfencing the foreign aid budget? - BBC Suffolk

TPA Policy Analyst Harry Fairhead argues that while some foreign aid is good, it is time to remove the foreign aid ringfence open it up to more scrutiny.

Listen here


April 19, 2016

Public cash used to buy silence of police officers - North West Evening Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, a pressure group set up to scrutinise spending from the public purse, was critical of the move.

He said: "These arrangements are not only an extra burden on taxpayers, but there is also a danger that they can be used to cover up incompetence and wrongdoing.

"At a time when every police force is having to find savings and police officers are facing pay freezes or worse, these payments will be particularly hard to justify."

Read more here


April 18, 2016

Foreign aid farce! - Daily Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “It is deeply depressing that Ministers still think it appropriate to be sending taxpayer-funded aid to countries that can afford their own space programmes.”

Read more here


April 17, 2016

Do we really need a £35,000 campaign to make walkers more polite? - BBC Sussex

Alex Wild rubbishes the taxpayer funded campaign to make ramblers be more polite to each other.

Listen here


April 16, 2016

£35,000 to teach ramblers to be polite... EXCUSE ME? - Daily Mail

It has gained a reputation as one of the most polite places in Britain, with virtually no reported cases of bad behaviour since being designated a national park six years ago.

But that hasn’t stopped officials blowing £35,000 of taxpayers’ money on a bizarre campaign to teach ramblers and dog-walkers on the South Downs to greet each other with a cheery ‘Have a good day’ or ‘Hi there!’

Read more here


April 16, 2016

Lunacy! What planet are they on? We give £4billion to Africa as they race into space - Daily Mail

African nations that have received billions of pounds in British aid to combat poverty and starvation are spending vast sums on launching rockets into space and astronomy research.
Nigeria – given more than a £1billion by Britain between 2010 and 2015 – has pledged that an astronaut will be in space by the end of the next decade.
The country has already sent six satellites into orbit. Two were built in Britain. The first one cost £10million and was launched in Russia.

Read more here


April 16, 2016

How bad for taxpayers is the Olympic Stadium deal? - LBC

Alex Wild from the TPA discusses the issues surrounding Olympic Stadium and the lack of transparency from the LLDC

Listen here


April 15, 2016

Taxpayers owed explanation over West Ham deal for Olympic Stadium - BT Sport

Former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn says his dog could have negotiated a better deal than the one which will see the Hammers pay £48,000 per week.

Read more here


April 15, 2016

BBC Question Time Audience Member’s Rant On Tax, Panama Papers And Austerity Goes Down A Treat - Huffington Post

The BBC’s flagship political show, which was broadcast from Doncaster, was debating the issue of inheritance tax, which has emerged since the Prime Minister published his tax statement on Saturday and it was revealed he had received £200,000 from his mother following his father’s death.

On the panel were Daniel Hannan, Owen Smith, Angus Robertson, Baroness Jones and Dia Chakravarty of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Read more here


April 15, 2016

Should we scrap the foreign aid target? - Sky News


April 15, 2016

Big question: Should all MPs publish their tax returns? - Prospect

Is it right that we should expect our MPs to offer transparency of this kind, while those in other professions enjoy privacy? A panel of contributors, including Caroline Flint and Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance Dia Chakravarty, offer their views.

Read more here


April 15, 2016

Dia Chakravarty on Question Time - BBC Question Time


April 15, 2016

Taxpayer picks up £6,000 bill for housing Russian diplomats in five-star hotel - The Telegraph

The Speaker of the House of Lords has spent more than £30,000 of taxpayer’s money entertaining dignitaries which included putting Russian diplomats up in a five-star hotel. 

Read more here


April 15, 2016

Blooming ridiculous! Lord Speaker splashes out £4,000 on flowers for office - and more than £1,100 on trip to ballet with Russian diplomats - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'No one will begrudge footing the bill for official functions which the Lord Speaker would reasonably be expected to host, but serious questions need to be asked about whether all this spending by her office is appropriate.

'Taxpayers will in particular want to know why their money was spent on tickets to the ballet, five star hotels, external caterers, PR advice and thousands of pounds worth of flowers. All the costs incurred by the Lord Speaker must be kept under constant review and savings found where possible.

'Furthermore, how Baroness D’Souza and her staff spend taxpayers' money should be published as a matter of course so that it can be subject to proper and regular scrutiny.'

Read more here


April 15, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Blooming ridiculous! Lord Speaker splashes out £4,000 on flowers for office - and more than £1,100 on trip to ballet with Russian diplomats - This is Money

Dia Chakravarty of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'No one will begrudge footing the bill for official functions which the Lord Speaker would reasonably be expected to host, but serious questions need to be asked about whether all this spending by her office is appropriate.
'Taxpayers will in particular want to know why their money was spent on tickets to the ballet, five star hotels, external caterers, PR advice and thousands of pounds worth of flowers.
'All the costs incurred by the Lord Speaker must be kept under constant review and savings found where possible.
'Furthermore, how Baroness D’Souza and her staff spend taxpayers' money should be published as a matter of course so that it can be subject to proper and regular scrutiny.'

Read more here


April 15, 2016

Taxpayers owed explanation over West Ham deal for Olympic Stadium - The Professional Footballers Association

Taxpayers deserve an explanation for the £2.5million per year deal which will see West Ham lease the Olympic Stadium, campaigners say. The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the publicly-funded authority which owns the stadium, on Thursday published its full deal with West Ham, who will take up their 99-year tenancy in August.

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said the contract was "ludicrously generous" and "the deal of the century".

Read more here


April 15, 2016

Taxpayers owed explanation over West Ham deal for Olympic Stadium - Sport.co.uk

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said the contract was "ludicrously generous" and "the deal of the century".
He added: "Those of us footing the bills deserve a proper explanation."

Read more here


April 15, 2016

West Ham stadium: Campaigners demands explanation over how Hammers secured 'deal of the century' - The Independent

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby claims the deal is 'ludicrously generous' after it emerged West Ham will pay £2.5m a year to rent the Olympic Stadium.

Read more here


April 15, 2016

Taxpayers owed explanation over West Ham deal for Olympic Stadium - Independent Ireland

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said the contract was "ludicrously generous" and "the deal of the century".
He added: "Those of us footing the bills deserve a proper explanation."

Read more here


April 15, 2016

Goldsmith VS Khan - City AM Unregulated

City A.M. digital editor Emma Haslett and stock market trader Zak Mir dissect this week's Zac vs Sadiq hustings event. Joining them to discuss the last taboo in politics, race; the "Zac Attack" and whether Boris is overshadowing the campaign trail are economist Vicky Pryce and Alex Wild from the Taxpayers' Alliance.

Listen here


April 15, 2016

Does Britain spend too much on foreign aid? - The Guardian

Diane Abbott and Jonathan Isaby debate whether being one of the few wealthy countries to hit the UN aid target is really something to be proud of

Read the full piece here


April 14, 2016

Is it time to scrap Inheritance Tax? - BBC Question Time


April 14, 2016

Barry Hearn: My dog could've negotiated better Olympic Stadium deal for taxpayer - Worcester News

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said the contract was "ludicrously generous" and "the deal of the century".

He added: "Those of us footing the bills deserve a proper explanation."

Read more here


April 14, 2016

Plymouth council loses out on £635,000 in a year as city drivers learn how to avoid bus lane fines - The Plymouth Herald

The Taxpayers' Alliance, a non-profit organisation that campaigns for lower taxes, welcomed the new figures, reminding the council that local residents should not be mistaken for "cash cows".

Campaign manager Harry Davis said: "If fewer fines are being issued then council leaders should be pleased motorists are doing the right thing.

"But if councils become over-reliant on fine revenue, there's a danger they'll try to catch people out rather than encourage good behaviour.

"Local residents cannot be seen as 'cash cows' who can be used to fill black holes in poorly planned local authority budgets."

Read more here


April 14, 2016

We asked our MPs five simple questions about their tax returns... just one answered - Exeter Express and Echo

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, however said he thought it would be unfair for MPs to have to publish their tax returns.

He said: "David Cameron made a rod for his own back by moralising about the legal tax arrangements of others in the past and was clearly clumsy in his handling of questions about the Panama papers.

Read more here


April 14, 2016

Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson set for Netflix vs Amazon head-to-head clash - The Week

"Those on low incomes and working long hours to pay for their licence fee might appreciate a little more humility from the celebs whose sky-high salaries they pay," Jonathan Isaby, the chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told the Daily Mail.

"Hearing that someone is 'fried' after a four-hour shift while picking up millions a year from the pay cheques of taxpayers will not make sense to those working long night shifts on the minimum wage."

Read more here


April 13, 2016

Householders could also be sent on awareness courses if they fail to wash out old tins or bottles - This is Money

Dia Chakravarty, the political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ’It’s extraordinary that it’s come to a point where expensive consultants need to be hired to deal with the situation. The council needs to ensure there are clear instructions about how different items need to be disposed of and residents naturally need to follow those instructions.

Read more here


April 13, 2016

Keep your bin clean or we'll confiscate it, councils tell families - Daily Mail

Local council tax payers will want to know exactly how this £100,000 is being spent, as it sounds like an awful lot of money.

Read more here


April 12, 2016

Will MPs in Hampshire follow David Cameron by publishing their tax returns? - Romsey Advertiser

But that is not a view echoed by the campaign group Taxpayers Alliance and a majority of Hampshire MPs.

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the alliance, said: “MPs already have to declare outside income, significant shareholdings and so on in the publicly-available Register of Members’ Financial Interests but enforced publication of full tax returns would be an invasion of privacy.

“Politicians’ energy would be better spent simplifying our labyrinthine tax code instead of unnecessary public posturing.”

Read more here


April 12, 2016

Maintain strict controls, MPs' expenses monitor urged - Cotswold Journal

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "These credit cards are a convenient way of tracking how MPs are spending their taxpayer-funded allowances, but strict controls must remain in place to ensure they are only used for appropriate purchases. We need as transparent a system of MPs' expenses as possible so that taxpayers can account for how every penny is spent.

"But how much did Ipsa see fit to spend on a survey whose results they are using to give themselves a pat on the back? This bureaucratic monster of a quango has a less than exemplary record at delivering value for taxpayers' money and needs to rein in its own unnecessary spending."

Read more here


April 12, 2016

As the row continues over David Cameron’s inheritance, should we abolish inheritance tax in its entirety? - City AM

Inheritance tax (IHT) is the most hated tax in the UK, even among socio-economic groups unlikely to ever be liable to pay it. It goes against the most basic human instinct – to want to pass something on to one’s children – and has been abolished in many countries including the egalitarian’s paradise, Sweden.

Levied on estates that have been built up out of the proceeds of income which has already been taxed, often several times over, it hits families at the worst possible time – after a bereavement. IHT raises less than 1 per cent of government revenues but accounts for more than 10 per cent of the tax code, with exemptions for agricultural land, business assets and woodland creating distortions devoid of economic rationale.

This government’s introduction of a ludicrous £175,000 additional transferrable “residential nil rate band” will only make things worse. This is an immoral tax that raises little revenue and significantly complicates the tax code. Hopefully we’re hearing the death knell of the death tax.

Read more here


April 12, 2016

Tax disclosure sets an unhappy precedent - The Times

Sir, It may now be deemed an old-fashioned view, but the private details of individuals’ annual income and related tax affairs really ought to remain just that: private (leader, Apr 11). It is therefore to be regretted that the prime minister has seemingly set a precedent by publishing his tax return — and effectively forcing the chancellor to follow suit — as part of a damage limitation exercise over his poor handling of questions relating to the Panama papers.

David Cameron has evidently broken no laws, but he can hold no one but himself responsible for the focus on his tax affairs this past week, since he has previously been happy to opine about the morality of others’ tax arrangements. We would be far better served if politicians got on with simplifying our labyrinthine tax code rather than pontificating about the tax arrangements of those abiding by the very laws which they have written.

Jonathan Isaby

CEO, TaxPayers’ Alliance

Read further letters here (£)


April 11, 2016

NHS spending millions on prescriptions for over-the-counter items - Helensburgh Advertiser

Household brands such as Vaseline, Rennie, Strepsils, Benadryl and Bazuka account for hundreds of thousands of prescriptions every year, NHS data shows.

The figures for England, analysed by the Press Association, show multivitamins made up 1.33 million prescriptions in 2015 at a spend of more than £3.8 million.

Read more here


April 11, 2016

Dudley Council's leader hits back over pay rise claims - Halesowen News

Citing figures published by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Councillor Paul Brothwood - Dudley’s UKIP leader – spoke of his shock at the annual allowance handed out to the borough’s leader which appeared to have risen by 15 per cent from £20,900 in 2012/13 to £23,999 in 2014/15.

Read more here


April 11, 2016

Do we need new laws to tackle tax avoidance? - BBC News


April 11, 2016

Should the Prime Minister have published his tax return? - BBC Radio London

Alex Wild  discusses  the rules surrounding the fallout from the Panama Papers with Eddie Nestor 

Listen here


April 11, 2016

What should we do with Inheritance Tax? - BBC Radio 4

Alex Wild, TPA Research Director, discusses the pitfalls of Inheritance Tax on You and Yours.

Listen here


April 11, 2016

Should politicians publish their tax returns? - BBC Radio 5 Live

Alex Wild and Richard Murphy discuss the precedent set by David Cameron publishing his tax return.

Listen here


April 11, 2016

Record number of families with nine or more children are claiming housing benefit handouts costing taxpayers £6 million a year - Daily Mail

TaxPayers' Alliance campaign manager Harry Davis said: ‘It’s not for the government to dictate how many children a person has, but it’s unfair to expect taxpayers to subsidise a lifestyle for others which they cannot enjoy themselves.

‘Many hard-pressed families across the country are forced to make extremely difficult choices about what they can and can’t afford - and those relying on taxpayer-funded benefits should not be immune from those considerations. Many who have made hard decisions about the number of children they can afford will resent paying for the ever-expanding families of others.’

Read more here


April 11, 2016

NHS spending millions on prescriptions for over-the-counter items - Durham Advertiser

Dia Chakravarty, political director from the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Every department is having to find necessary savings and rarely a day goes by without NHS authorities asking for more money."

Read more here


April 11, 2016

NHS spending millions on prescriptions for over-the-counter items - Wandsworth Guardian

Dia Chakravarty, political director from the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 

"What justification might there possibly be then for wasting taxpayers' money on household items? Hard-pressed families expect the NHS budget to go towards cancer drugs and MRI machines, not to be squandered."

Read more here


April 11, 2016

Dog poo crackdown: Night vision goggles scheme update - Stoke Sentinel

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance added: "Everyone wants to see clean streets, but handing taxpayers the bill for this costly night-vision equipment will fail the smell test for many Stafford residents.

"In their efforts to catch irresponsible dog owners, you could say that the council is giving local taxpayers something of a rough deal."

Read more here


April 11, 2016

NHS spending millions on prescriptions for over-the-counter items - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty, political director from the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Every department is having to find necessary savings and rarely a day goes by without NHS authorities asking for more money.

"What justification might there possibly be then for wasting taxpayers' money on household items? Hard-pressed families expect the NHS budget to go towards cancer drugs and MRI machines, not to be squandered."

Read more here


April 09, 2016

EU Propaganda Leaflet - BBC Hereford and Worcester

TPA Research Director, Alex Wild, argues that the decision to spend taxpayers' money, £6m on leaflet and £3m on a website,  skews the referendum debate.

Listen here


April 08, 2016

Bungling Government department DOUBLES compensation to people over CRB checks - The Mirror

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This is astonishing behaviour on the part of the organisation concerned.

“Not only is it putting people’s jobs at risk by delaying or mixing up their clearance certificates, it’s also placing a completely avoidable yet expensive burden on taxpayers. This is precisely the sort of waste we simply cannot afford.”

Read more here


April 08, 2016

Is the government wrong to be using £9.3m of taxpayers’ money to fund pro-EU literature? - City AM

The government should never waste money on the sort of patronising propaganda that will be landing on our doormats. Taxpayers across the country have different views on the EU, so it is abhorrent for the government to be using our money to tell us what to think and how to vote. The £9.3m being spent promoting the government’s position dwarfs the £7m that both lead campaigns can spend during the regulated campaigning period, making it harder to see the referendum as a fair fight. And since the country is still dealing with such a huge deficit, it’s odd that the government was able to find the cash to fund this exercise. There are better ways this money could have been spent – or it could have been left in taxpayers’ pockets. The debate about our relationship with the EU is an important one, but it should be for campaigners on both sides to make their respective cases, without the Whitehall machine abusing our cash to skew it.

Read the article here


April 07, 2016

EU propaganda leaflet - BBC Radio Kent

Dia Chakravarty debates Ashford MP, Damian Green, over the government's ludicrous decision to spend over £9m on pro-EU propaganda.

Listen here


April 07, 2016

Taxpayer funded EU leaflet - BBC Somerset

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, calls the decision by the Government to spend £9.3m on pro-EU leaflets a disgrace.

Listen here


April 07, 2016

£9.3m spent on EU leaflet - BBC Cambridgeshire

TPA Political Director Dia Chakravarty slams the Government's decision to spend £9.3 million of taxpayers money on Remain leaflet.

Listen here


April 07, 2016

Taxpayer funded EU propaganda leaflet - BBC Humberside

Dia Chakravarty discusses the governments decision to spend £9.3 million on pro-EU leaflets. 

Listen here


April 07, 2016

Fury as £1k-a-night escort is allowed to pay court fines with benefits...AGAIN - Daily Star

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Those who defraud the benefit system not only leave taxpayers out of pocket but also take precious resources away from the most vulnerable in the society.

"A system which allows this to happen is in need of urgent reform."

Read more here


April 07, 2016

Decision to spend £9m of taxpayers' money on pro-EU leaflet blasted by Wirral Euro MP - Crewe Guardian

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This is a disgraceful abuse of taxpayers' money.

"When cash is scarce and budgets are tight, politicans should not be wasting nearly £10 million of our cash on political propaganda.

"The country is having an important debate about its relationship with the EU and it is essential that it is held on a level playing field.

"When provisions are already in place for each official campaign to receive equal amounts to help make their case to voters, this move will only serve to unfairly skew the debate.

"This is not 'government money', it is all taxpayers' money and it is deplorable that ministers see fit to use it to try to instruct us how to vote."

Read more here


April 07, 2016

Government spends £9.3m on pro-EU leaflet - BBC News


April 07, 2016

Mother is allowed to repay £900 in court fines using her state benefits despite earning £1,000 a night as an escort - Daily Mail

Campaigners have called for a purge on sex workers cheating the benefits system after a vice girl was once again allowed to pay for a court fine through deductions in her benefits.

Read more here


April 07, 2016

EU REFERENDUM SCANDAL: Fury as PM blows £10 MILLION of YOUR cash on pro-Brussels leaflets - The Express

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "This is a disgraceful abuse of taxpayers' money.

"When cash is scarce and budgets are tight, politicians should not be wasting nearly £10 million of our cash on political propaganda.

"The country is having an important debate about its relationship with the EU and it is essential that it is held on a level playing field.


"When provisions are already in place for each official campaign to receive equal amounts to help make their case to voters, this move will only serve to unfairly skew the debate.

"This is not 'government money', it is all taxpayers' money and it is deplorable that ministers see fit to use it to try and instruct us how to vote."

Read more here


April 07, 2016

Police accused of promoting a 'finders keepers' society - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Accepting stolen property shouldn’t be a particularly onerous task as long as the police force doesn't create unnecessary bureaucracy around it.

‘If someone comes across something valuable - a lost wedding ring, perhaps - who are they meant to hand it in to, if not the police?
‘It seems bizarre to discourage little acts of kindness which could reunite a resident with a precious personal item.’

Read more here


April 06, 2016

The Panama Papers: What does it mean for Britain? - BBC Merseyside

TPA Research Director, Alex Wild, discusses the recent release of the Panama Papers and the consequences for Britain. 

Listen here


April 06, 2016

Was the Chancellor right to cut Capital Gains Tax? - Share Radio

Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, discussing the cut in Capital Gains Tax in the Chancellor's recent budget and the repercussions of this. 

Listen here


April 06, 2016

Holyrood 2016: Who earns the most in the public sector? - BBC News

That is the figure in a report by the Taxpayers Alliance, which compiles information from council publications.

Along with salaries, it includes both pay-offs and large one-off pension contributions along with salaries.
As these are one-offs, they can make a very significant difference to the figures.

The Taxpayers Alliance claimed last year that there were 251 such staff in Scottish councils, 27 on more than £150,000 and four earning more than £200,000.

Read more here


April 06, 2016

NHS spending millions on taxis every year, figures reveal - Belper News

J

onathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "When times are hard and every NHS trust is having to find necessary savings, taxpayers will wonder if spending such a huge amount of their money on taxis can really be good value.

"Authorities must do everything possible to make sure costs are kept down and come up with the most efficient method of transporting patients.

"Every penny wasted is a penny taken away from cancer drugs and specialist nurses."

Read more here


April 05, 2016

Outgoing Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes says she delivered on manifesto in end of term report - Kent Online

Mrs Barnes singles out the creation of a "victims and witness care advice hub" in Ashford as a major success. "Our approach is now seen as a blueprint for victims' services and I am immensely proud of that," she said.

She also highlights the opening of a state-of-the-art Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).

And on the costs of her office, she says "even the Taxpayers' Alliance conceded my office was cheaper to run than the old police authority".

Despite the shadow of budget cuts, the out-going commissioner says the force is "well-placed to face these challenges".

Read more here


April 05, 2016

Lambeth council has spent £4,600 on a video about budget cuts - Time Out

Lambeth council has come up with a great new way to piss off tax-payers – by spending a big wad of cash on a video about budget cuts. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of grassroots campaign TaxPayers' Alliance has slammed the video as 'propaganda.' 

Read more here


April 05, 2016

UK steel is globally insignificant and unviable: Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to shoulder its losses - City AM

With the Port Talbot steelworks up for sale, Tata saying the value of its operations are “almost zero”, and a £485m pension deficit, prospects for the plant’s thousands of workers look grim. But while this is certainly a local tragedy, some perspective is needed.

Read the full article here


April 04, 2016

Council tax rises for south Essex residents - Essex County Standard

SOUTH Essex bill payers are facing higher council tax charges as local councils try to plug their multi-million pound funding gaps.

As of April 1, Basildon taxpayers saw their bill rise by 1.99 per cent - the maximum possible rise in their annual bill this year.

Residents living in a Band D property now have to pay £5.04 extra per year, meaning their bill stands at £1,607.76 once extras for the county council, fire service and police are added in.

It marks the end of five consecutive years of council tax freezes.

Read more here


April 02, 2016

Train bosses spend £3,000 on glossy pictures of themselves for annual brochure - The Mirror

Dia Chakravarty of the Taxpayers Alliance said: “Taxpayers will be left wondering if this really can be the best use of their money.

“At a time when taxpayers are having to budget hard and public bodies are expected to cut out every bit of waste, this seems particularly callous.

“Our PR obsessed public sector might find that providing better value for taxpayers’ money does a lot more for its image than commissioning grand photographs.”

Read more here


April 01, 2016

Job-cutting Plymouth council defends splashing £8.7million on temporary staff as it fights cuts - Plymouth Herald

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the Taxpayers' Alliance, added: "Bringing down the public sector head-count is a necessity after years of mindless expansion, but this needs to be done with a long-term plan in mind so that taxpayers don't pick up the bill for expensive temporary staff."

Read more here


April 01, 2016

A cut to Corporation Tax is welcome but we must go further - Share Radio

Harry Fairhead discusses why cutting Corporation Tax is a good thing but why there is an argument for scrapping it altogether.

Listen here


April 01, 2016

Will the new Living Wage do more harm than good? - Newsnight


April 01, 2016

Top Gear Kazakhstan trip aborted after airline woes - The Week

"Those on low incomes and working long hours to pay for their licence fee might appreciate a little more humility from the celebs whose sky-high salaries they pay," Jonathan Isaby, the chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told the Daily Mail.

"Hearing that someone is 'fried' after a four-hour shift while picking up millions a year from the pay cheques of taxpayers will not make sense to those working long night shifts on the minimum wage."

Read more here


April 01, 2016

National price hike day: Millions hit with higher bills from TODAY - The Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, added: "Most families have faced a creeping Council Tax rise over the last 20 years so attempts to blame today's tax rise on recent central government spending reductions ring hollow in many cases.

"The sad truth remains that some local authorities have failed to find necessary savings and cut out waste, instead being too quick to plug any holes in their budgets through tax hikes.

"Families already struggling with sky-high bills will be hit hard again by today's significant tax hike."

Read more here


April 01, 2016

Remuneration Panels on councillor allowances should be unpaid - Conservative Home

The level of councillor allowances varies widely, as some useful recent research by the TaxPayers Alliance has confirmed. The figures covered the amount paid in 2014/15.

Read more here


April 01, 2016

Former Tory MSPs forced to pay back £12k in expenses after breaching Holyrood rules - The National

Conservative MSPs are not alone in renting office space from their local political parties. A number of other politicians from across the political spectrum have also rented offices from their local party, including Alex Salmond, Kenny MacAskill, Alasdair Allan, Roseanna Cunningham, Willie Rennie and Murdo Fraser.

The practice, which has been common among both Westminster and Holyrood politicians, has been criticised by the Taxpayers Alliance for providing a "back-door subsidy" to political parties.

Read more here


March 31, 2016

Number of NHS managers is up by 6.5% (but it's just 0.5% for nurses) as budget is spent on bureaucrats instead of frontline staff - This is Money

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'People expect health chiefs to spend the staffing budget on medical staff, not back-room bureaucrats.

'Why is the army of NHS pen-pushers growing at a faster rate than the number of nurses and midwives? NHS bosses owe it to taxpayers to target funding at putting medics on the frontline rather than hiring more administrators.'

Read more here


March 31, 2016

Lambeth council slammed for spending almost £5,000 on film about cuts - Evening Standard

But Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance Jonathan Isaby questioned why money was being spent on "propaganda".


He said: "At a time when Lambeth council is increasing taxes on hard-pressed families, residents have every right to question how the council can justify spending their cash on a propaganda video.

"It is astounding that civic leaders in the borough felt it a priority to squander money on a film which essentially bemoans the lack of cash available when they could have put the cost of it towards keeping council tax down.

"Everyone knows budgets are tight. They can do without the council wasting thousands telling them so."

Read more here


March 31, 2016

Number of NHS managers is up by 6.5% (but it's just 0.5% for nurses) as budget is spent on bureaucrats instead of frontline staff - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'People expect health chiefs to spend the staffing budget on medical staff, not back-room bureaucrats.

'Why is the army of NHS pen-pushers growing at a faster rate than the number of nurses and midwives? NHS bosses owe it to taxpayers to target funding at putting medics on the frontline rather than hiring more administrators.'

Read more here


March 30, 2016

Outrage over councillors’ allowances - Haslemere Herald

SURREY county councillors and Waverley borough councillors have been ‘named and shamed’ nationally for awarding themselves some of the largest increases in allowances and expenses.
In the latest town hall rich list report compiled by campaign group the TaxPayers Alliance, Surrey was slated for being the highest-spending county council in England and for awarding the biggest payouts in the South East. It also paid the highest special responsibility allowance in the South East.

Read more here


March 30, 2016

Plymouth MP Oliver Colvile: 'I bet on myself to retain my seat - and won £100!' - The Plymouth Herald

At a recent scrutiny panel meeting, the Sutton and Devonport MP suggested PCC should take some lessons in efficiency from Wandsworth, the London borough where he lives during the week.

"They find that difficult, they claim I'm being naughty by saying it," Mr Colvile says.

"But (they should) talk to the Taxpayers' Alliance, talk to other local authorities that are better at managing their budgets.

"It's important we use taxpayers' money correctly."

Read more here


March 29, 2016

Militant teachers are accused of ‘political point-scoring’ after threatening to join doctors' strikes - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

'Strikes by teachers create massive disruption for pupils and parents in the same way that industrial action by doctors can lead to misery and anguish for patients.

'But it would be a particularly disturbing development if different unions are planning to co-ordinate action over separate issues to cause maximum havoc for the tax-paying public.Union leaders would not only be letting down the public, but also doing a disservice to their rank-and-file members if they seek to use their disputes for wider political point-scoring.'

Read more here


March 29, 2016

UKIP councillor slams Dudley Council leader over unjustified pay rises - Dudley News

Figures obtained from the TaxPayers' Alliance show the pay packet of Dudley Council's leader has risen by nearly 15 per cent over the course of two years - while neighbouring authority leaders have seen their salaries frozen or slightly reduced.

Read more here


March 28, 2016

Should teachers strike against Academy roll out? - LBC

John O'Connell argues that any industrial action taken by teachers will only affect students. 

Listen here


March 28, 2016

Chris Evans only works four hours per day for six figure Top Gear job - Metro

‘Those on low incomes and working long hours pay to for their licence fee might appreciate a little more humility from the celebs whose sky high salaries they pay,’ Jonathan Isaby of the organisation is quoted as saying.

‘Hearing that someone is “fried” after a four hour shift while picking up millions a year from the pay cheques of taxpayers will not make sense to those working long night shifts on the minimum wage,’ he adds.

Read more here


March 28, 2016

Top Gear star Chris Evans brags he spends just four hours a day working on the show and leaves at 2pm 'on the dot' to pick up his children - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Those on low incomes and working long hours pay to for their licence fee might appreciate a little more humility from the celebs whose sky high salaries they pay.

'Hearing that someone is "fried" after a four hour shift while picking up millions a year from the pay cheques of taxpayers will not make sense to those working long night shifts on the minimum wage.'

Read more here


March 28, 2016

Councillor was paid £20,000 of taxpayer cash despite only going to one in three meetings… because he works as a sea captain - Daily Mail

Harry Davis, campaign manager of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Councillors are elected to make decisions on behalf of their constituents. For them to do this, they have to attend the meetings.

'Taxpayers have every right to feel aggrieved and will question whether they are really being represented and receiving value for money.'

Read more here


March 26, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Millions of Britons dodging licence fee through THIS loophole... and it's LEGAL - The Express

Harry Davis of the Taxpayers' Alliance campaign group said: "This just goes to demonstrate that the licence fee is an outdated concept that cannot last in its current form.

"With technology in place for people to watch programmes when and where they want, more cost effective and modern ways of funding BBC programming have to be explored.

"It is time to design a funding model for the BBC which is fit for the 21st century."

Read more here


March 25, 2016

No pay rise for elected politicians - Wigan Today

Last week the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) criticised local authorities for imposing above inflation increases while making cutbacks in services due to dwindling government grants.

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Taxpayers will be shocked to discover the rate at which councillors’ allowances have risen over the last three years, despite local authorities pleading poverty and in many cases raising council tax or cutting services.”

Read more here


March 24, 2016

Police chief to step down after force's handling of child abuse cases criticised - The Villager

Mr Crompton, 52, took over as chief constable from Meredydd Hughes in 2012, joining from the neighbouring West Yorkshire force.

Figures published by the Taxpayers Alliance last year put Mr Crompton's pay package at just over £193,778.

Read more here


March 24, 2016

Government hopes to find occupant as bill mounts into several millions - Somerset County Gazette

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the waste of taxpayers' money is "simply unacceptable".

She added: "The authorities should have dealt with the building years ago instead of continuing to impose such a huge burden on hard-pressed families through its maintenance. This scale of waste is particularly difficult to stomach at a time when necessary savings are having to be made and firefighters and their colleagues are facing pay freezes or worse."

Read more here


March 22, 2016

Outcry over councils’ expenses - Petersfield Herald

SURREY county councillors and Waverley borough councillors have been ‘named and shamed’ nationally for awarding themselves some of the largest increases in allowances and expenses.

In the latest town hall rich list report published last week, by campaign group the TaxPayers Alliance, Surrey was slated for being the highest spending county council in England and for awarding the biggest payouts in the South East.

It also paid the highest special responsibility allowance in the South East.

Read more here


March 22, 2016

Is it right for taxpayers to fund personal trainers for unhealthy people? - BBC Three Counties

Dia Chakravarty argues that it is unfair for the taxpayer to fund personal trainers for those who have unhealthy lifestyles. 

Listen here


March 21, 2016

Latest figures show payments to councillors - Uttoxeter Advertiser

Figures released by the Taxpayers' Alliance shows Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has the lowest basic allowance of any authority in the West Midlands.

According to the alliance, the district council's allowances and expenses bill was £242,116 in 2014-15 – a fall of around £5,000 in the last two years.

Read more here


March 21, 2016

Surrey County Council leader third highest paid in south east of England as expenses bill soars - Surrey Comet

Councillors’ wage and expenses bills also soared at the third fastest rate in the country over the last three years, figures analysed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance reveal.

Read more here


March 21, 2016

A Missed Opportunity to Unburden Enterprise - Huffington Post

But what makes the NICs regime especially opaque is the employers' part of national insurance, not least because the incidence of NICs falls squarely on employees - either through lower wages or higher unemployment. Indeed, study after study has shown that when countries increase their payroll taxes, it leads to a reduction in pay, not a reduction in profit.

This is not to say that the burden is lifted entirely from employers. An extensive Taxpayers' Alliance study in 2011 argued that administration alone imposes a £146m compliance cost on businesses and places a particularly heavy burden on smaller companies, which need to hire accountants to help them cope with the system. It also incentivises employers to hire temporary staff when, all things being equal, they would prefer to bring them into the business as PAYE employees.

Read more here


March 21, 2016

Bolton Council pays out more than £800,000 to councillors in one year - Bolton News


March 19, 2016

​Lack of transparency over Bedford councillors' claims - Bedfordshire on Sunday

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The council must remember that these allowances are paid for by taxpayers who have every right to ask for the details, particularly as the council has actively pledged to make them public.

"The fact that requests to access the records have been treated with such contempt reflects extremely badly on the Council and residents will be left wondering what the point of having a taxpayer-funded Press Officer is if they cannot answer queries from journalists."


March 18, 2016

Allowance rate frozen for borough’s 75 councillors - Leigh Observer

Last week the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) criticised local authorities for imposing above-inflation increases while making service cutbacks due to dwindling government grants.

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Taxpayers will be shocked to discover the rate at which councillors’ allowances have risen over the last three years, despite local authorities pleading poverty and in many cases raising council tax or cutting services.”

Read more here


March 18, 2016

What will the sugary drinks tax change? - BBC Radio Kent

Dia Chakravarty discusses the many reasons the sugar tax is a terribly thought out tax.

Listen here


March 18, 2016

Outrage as EU admits: We have NO CLUE how much taxpayer cash is spent on migrant crisis - The Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the anti-waste campaign group the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This is a classic example of the woeful lack of accountability in the EU.

"The handling of the migrant crisis has been a disaster so the incompetence detailed in this report is, unfortunately, unsurprising.

"Politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels must remember that the cost of their failure to manage the situation is borne by hard-pressed families back in their respective countries."

Read more here


March 18, 2016

George Osborne’s tinkering has made the UK tax system more complicated than ever - City AM

After eight Budgets and six Autumn Statements, we have a pretty good idea of what kind of chancellor George Osborne is.

Read the full article here


March 17, 2016

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge paid more than any other in south east of England as expenses bill soars - Surrey Comet

Surrey County Council Leader David Hodge’s special responsibility allowance rose by nearly 50 per cent from the previous year, figures analysed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance reveal.

Figures open to the public on the county council’s website show that the council leader’s allowance rose from £30,500 in 2013/14 to £43,000 in 2014/15.

Read more here


March 17, 2016

The sugar tax backlash - This is Money

Meanwhile Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'It is ludicrous that the Chancellor decided to cave in to the demands of the High Priest of the Nanny State in the public health lobby and introduce a hugely regressive and entirely ineffective sugar tax.

'This will hit the poorest families hardest and all the evidence shows it simply won't work.'

Read more here


March 17, 2016

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge paid more than any other in south east of England as expenses bill soars - Your Local Guardian

Surrey County Councillors were paid nearly £2million and its leader was paid more than any other council leader in the south east of England last year.

Councillors’ wage and expenses bills also soared at the third fastest rate in the country over the last three years.

Read more here

 


March 17, 2016

Budget 2016 - International Business Times

With the EU referendum less than 100 days away and the outlook for the global economy looking somewhat gloomier than it was when he delivered his Autumn Statement in November, big changes at George Osborne's eighth Budget were never likely, and sure enough they did not materialise. What we got was a typical Osborne budget with tweaks, complexity, sleight of hand and some headline grabbing measures.

Read the full article here


March 17, 2016

This sugar tax will taste sour to poorer people - Conservative Home

When it comes to a Sugar Tax, the answer is no,” said the Prime Minister’s spokesman only last year. Less than a year later, we are staring at the latest diktat from the high priests of the Nanny State, a shiny new Sugar Tax.

Read more here


March 17, 2016

The Sugar Tax will be a regressive revenue raiser - LBC

Dia Chakravarty explains why the sugar tax is a nanny state tax that's going to increase the cost of living.

Listen here


March 17, 2016

REVEALED: Councillors' allowances and expenses exceeds £693k - Northwich Guardian

COUNCILLORS chalked up £693,049 in allowances and expenses in 2014-15.

During the past three years Warrington Borough Council's (WBC) basic allowance for members has remained at £7,911, with the leader's at £20,015.

Research by the TaxPayers' Alliance revealed £699 million has been paid out to local councillors in allowances in the last three years.

Read more here


March 16, 2016

Surprise sugar tax will have 'profound' worldwide impact on children's health, says Jamie Oliver - Hartlepool Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is ludicrous that the Chancellor decided to cave in to the demands of the High Priest of the Nanny State in the public health lobby and introduce a hugely regressive and entirely ineffective sugar tax. This will hit the poorest families hardest and all the evidence shows it simply won't work."

Read more here


March 16, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Fury as BBC splurges £21,000 on TRAINING COURSES in Africa and Latvia - The Express

Harry Davis, campaign manger at the Taxpayers' Alliance, slammed the figures.

He said: "BBC staff may occasionally have to go off site for training, but was it really necessary to go globetrotting to learn about in-house standards?

"The licence fee takes a big chunk out of family budgets and corporation bosses need to deliver value with every pound they spend.

"The BBC need to explain why these trips around the world were absolutely necessary as those of us footing the bill deserve to know where our cash has gone."

Read more here


March 15, 2016

Government department shells out up to £7,000 for Christmas parties - Politics Home

Chief Executive of the TPA, Jonathan Isaby, told PoliticsHome: "Nobody begrudges a bit of Christmas cheer but as with any department or body spending taxpayers' money, it is absolutely crucial that costs are kept down and that every outgoing penny is justified to those of us footing the bill.

“When departments are having to find necessary savings and hard-pressed families are feeling the pinch, authorities need to be a lot more responsible when budgeting jollies."

Read more here


March 14, 2016

Police officer sat in SHOPPING TROLLEY seen being pushed by colleague through town centre on busy Saturday night - The Mirror

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "People like to see bobbies on the beat but preferably on their own two feet rather than being pushed around in a shopping trolley.

"There's a time and a place for having a bit of fun but many residents will raise an eyebrow at these antics if these officers were actually on duty."

Read more here


March 14, 2016

Essex County Council spends £6,550 of taxpayers' hard-earned cash on flop YouTube video - Essex Chronicle

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is ludicrous that the authority felt the need to sanction this video - which essentially gives themselves a big pat on the back - over finding necessary savings and cutting taxes to ease the burden on hard-pressed families."

Read more here


March 14, 2016

PM's 'Help To Save' Plan For Low-Paid Workers - Kiss FM

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, has criticised the Chancellor for not doing more to cut spending. 

Read more here


March 14, 2016

PM's 'Help To Save' Plan For Low-Paid Workers - Sky News

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, has criticised the Chancellor for not doing more to cut spending.

He said: "While the Chancellor deserves some credit for steering the economy through difficult times, much of the action which was urgently needed to bring spending down and sort out the nation's finances sadly never took place."

Read more here


March 14, 2016

George Osborne sets out 'cut now or pay later' Budget case - Dudley News

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"As well as declaring war on waste and lighting the elusive bonfire of the quangos, big decisions should have been taken to reduce spending for the longer term, including getting rid of 'ring-fenced' spending, scrapping wasteful projects like HS2 and abolishing entire departments like BIS and DCMS.

"What's more, there have been too many missed opportunities to reform pernicious taxes like stamp duty and ineffective ones like corporation tax, and the Chancellor should follow through on his talk of tax simplification. There is no longer any room for complacency in a global economy that is far from settled."

Read more here


March 14, 2016

George Osborne sets out 'cut now or pay later' Budget case - Bromsgrove Advertiser

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "While the Chancellor deserves some credit for steering the economy through difficult times, much of the action which was urgently needed to bring spending down and sort out the nation's finances sadly never took place."

Read more here


March 12, 2016

Budget 2016: four things the Chancellor needs to tackle in the Budget - Love Money

Rumours abound of the Chancellor’s plans for the 2016 Budget.

At first we heard that tax relief on pension contributions might be limited to a single rate, then that the entire framework would be switched to an ISA-style system. Now, we hear that the 40p Income Tax threshold may head towards £50,000 and fuel tax will be bumped up to boost the Treasury’s coffers.

The relative merits of the rumoured plans aside, to me there are a few key areas that seem in most need of attention.

Read more here


March 12, 2016

Leaked email revealing plans to make over 40 redundancies at UoM - The Tab

Reports recently stated  that the 103 staff are paid over £100,000 which, according to data obtained by the Taxpayers Alliance, this stands at almost one per cent of the University’s total employees.

Read more here


March 12, 2016

What will the Chancellor do in his budget? - Week in Westminster

Steve Baker MP references our Spending Plan on Radio 4's Week in Westminster when asked what the Chancellor should do in this weeks budget.

Listen here


March 12, 2016

Black Country and Staffordshire councillors run up £5m allowances bill - Express and Star

The Taxpayers Alliance called the findings 'shocking' and called on councillors to 'show restraint when it comes to their own taxpayer-funded allowances and ease the burden on hard-pressed families'.

Read more here


March 11, 2016

Council tax to rise by up to 4% for those outside London - Daily Post

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Councils pleading poverty seem to forget that hard-pressed families are already struggling with an ever-increasing tax burden.

"Our own research shows some councils have been prioritising increasing councillors' allowances over cutting tax and finding necessary savings and that's simply unacceptable.

"Every bit of unnecessary spending must be cut out before taxpayers are asked to dig deeper into their pockets."

Read more here


March 11, 2016

Council tax to rise by up to 4% for those outside London - Coventry Telegraph

English council tax payers are facing rises of up to 4%, while authorities in London maintain a virtual freeze in 2016/17, according to new figures.

Many councils outside the capital are planning to take full advantage of the 1.99% maximum increase permitted without a local referendum, as well as the 2% precept which Chancellor George Osborne is allowing for authorities providing adult social care, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa) found in its annual council tax survey.

Read more here


March 11, 2016

Ofsted chief blasts Academy bosses who earn more than the PM while letting pupils at their schools achieve inadequate results - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Taxpayers don’t begrudge just rewards for good results but far too often taxpayer-funded salaries are handed out to fat cats irrespective of performance, sometimes even rewarding failure.

‘Parents will want to keep a very close eye on the performance of academies paying enormous salaries to their bosses in order to make sure that it really is good value for money.’

Read more here


March 11, 2016

‘Council wasting too much of taxpayers’ money’, say protesters - Bournemouth Echo

Members of the TaxPayers’ Alliance demonstrated outside Bournemouth town hall yesterday, claiming Bournemouth council should be less wasteful of taxpayers’ money.

Group chief executive Jonathan Isaby led the campaign to raise awareness and promote group numbers.

Read more here


March 11, 2016

Labour 'has long way to go' to regain public trust on the economy - Knutsford Guardian

Taxpayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "Taxpayers are tired of empty platitudes from politicians who provide very little in the way of serious policies to deal with the huge national debt.

"The Opposition has an extremely important task at hand to hold the Government to account in its failure to balance the books and make the savings taxpayers desperately need. Politicians from all parties must accept that tough action is needed to balance the nation's books and ease the burden on current and future taxpayers."

Read more here


March 10, 2016

Dia Chakravarty on addressing Intergenerational unfairness - ITV Tonight


March 10, 2016

Budget 2016: Osborne considers raising 40p tax rate threshold - Tax Assist

Dia Chakravarty, political director, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is certainly welcome news that the personal allowance and the higher rate thresholds are rumoured to rise, leaving more money in the pockets of those who have earned it.

“However, the speculation around the fuel duty rise would dismay taxpayers, particularly those on lower incomes as it would translate into a direct increase in household costs.

“The Chancellor must fight the temptation to rake in more money for the Treasury at the cost of hard-pressed families and instead focus on policies that encourage greater economic activity leading to further growth and increased employment.”

Read more here


March 10, 2016

House of Lords bar and restaurant subsidies tops £1.3m - The Telegraph

Taxpayers subsidised peers' food and drink to the tune of more than £1.3m last year, PoliticsHome has found.

The deficit, which is filled by public money, amounted to £1,348,673 in 2014/15.

An FOI has revealed that combined with the subsidy for the House of Commons bars and restaurants, the cost to taxpayers reached above £3.7m.

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, attacked the scale of taxpayer support, saying it is "high time" the subsidy stopped.

Read more here


March 10, 2016

UK Budget predictions 2016: What do free marketeers want from chancellor George Osborne? - City CM

Chancellor George Osborne normally pulls something out of his hat on Budget day, but with pensions seemingly pressured off the table, his choices are restricted.

But in an ideal world, what do free marketeers want from him next week?

Read more here


March 09, 2016

Surrey Police spend almost £60,000 on advertising campaign after announcing hundreds of job cuts - Surrey Comet

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers are always sceptical about expensive campaigns like these which often end up wasting a huge amount of money, achieving very little.

"Local residents will want to keep a very close eye on this campaign to see if it really has saved money and freed up police time.

"Innovative cost cutting solutions are to be encouraged, but only if they actually succeed in saving taxpayers' money."

Read more here


March 09, 2016

Are benefit sanctions justified? - BBC Humberside

The TPA Research Director discuss whether the principle of sanctioning benefit claimants is justified.

Listen here


March 09, 2016

Spotlight turned on councillor expenses - Leigh Observer

Wigan’s 75 councillors received more than £1.1m last year in allowances and expenses, according to a new report.

Figures collected by the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) show the collective bill of the borough’s elected representatives increased from the previous year.

Read more here


March 09, 2016

Criticism as most Gwent councillors' allowances rise over last three years - South Wales Argus

New research by the TaxPayers' Alliance reveals that across the UK, £699 million has been paid out to local councillors in allowances over the last three years.

Four out of five Gwent local authorities increased their councillor allowances, in the face of economic hardship.

Read more here


March 08, 2016

Croydon councillors paid almost £1.5m in allowances and expenses over the last year - Croydon Guardian

According to figures released by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, £1,456,862 was paid to Croydon councillors from 2014 to 2015, comparing to just £639,403 paid to Kingston councillors, who racked up the smallest bill.

Read more here


March 08, 2016

Some council allowance values raised, despite service cuts - Radio Borders

Local councillors across Scotland, England and Wales have been paid a total of nearly £700 million in allowances and expenses over the past three years, according to new research.

Read more here


March 08, 2016

Hartlepool councillors paid lowest allowances in the North East, figures show - Hartlepool Mail

The town’s political representatives had a basic allowance rate of £5,825 during the last financial year.

While this is a slight increase on the £5,767 paid in 2013/14 - the figures, revealed by the TaxPayers Alliance, mean Hartlepool Borough Council has the lowest allowances in the North East.

Councillors have also been tightening their purse strings when it comes to claiming expenses which cover the likes of hotel stays and meals. In 2012/13 expenses of £7,694 were claimed, by 2013/14 this had dropped to £1,491 and even further savings were made during the last financial year bringing the total to £1,111.

Read more here


March 08, 2016

Do local councillors deserve their allowances – or not? - Yorkshire Post

Few would begrudge giving councillors a reasonable sum of money for the time and effort they put in. What they might not be best pleased about is finding out that councillors are being paid more than those in neighbouring councils for doing the same job.

Read the full piece here


March 08, 2016

Councillors paid £700m in allowances over three years - Local Gov

Local councillors received £699m in allowances over the past three years, according to new research from the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The study found that at least 238 councils raised the basic allowance for councillors between 2012-2015, while 208 also raised the total bill for allowances and expenses in this time.

Read more here


March 08, 2016

Bucks County Councillors Cost Nearly 900K - Mix 96

Bucks County Councillors were paid £880,072 in allowances and expenses last year.
The Tax Payers Alliance's data showed each Councillor got £10,825 and the Leader Martin Tett got £40,106.

Read more here


March 08, 2016

What places crisis? £90m failed high school in Liverpool stands empty despite costing council £12,000 a day - Daily Mail

Alex Wild of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘This is clearly a spectacularly bad deal as far as taxpayers are concerned.’
PFI was introduced by John Major’s Conservative government in 1992 as a way to use private funding to pay for major public infrastructure projects. It was widely used by Labour between 1997 and 2010 but faced growing criticism for the long term costs involved and the ultimate liabilities for the taxpayer if projects go wrong.'

Read more here


March 07, 2016

Some council allowance values raised despite service cuts, research claims - Sussex Express

Local councillors across England, Scotland and Wales have been paid a total of nearly £700 million in allowances and expenses over the past three years, according to new research.

Read more here


March 07, 2016

Why Facebook's recent decision to pay more tax shows how flawed the system of corporation tax really is - City AM

How glad should we be that Facebook is now going to book sales through its UK subsidiary rather than its Irish one, increasing its tax liability?

Read the full piece here


March 07, 2016

One You health drive aims to help middle-aged Britons look after themselves - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Educational campaigns can be useful but costs must be kept down, particularly at a time when families up and down the country are having to budget hard.
"It is important that the campaign is informative rather than patronising and that large amounts of taxpayer-funded resources aren't wasted on simply stating the obvious."

Read more here


March 07, 2016

One You health drive aims to help middle-aged Britons look after themselves - The Herald

Middle-aged Britons are being urged to get off their couches and cut down on unhealthy food as part of a Government-backed drive to make people look after themselves.

Stark warnings about the risks of drinking and obesity form part of a new Public Health England (PHE) campaign, called One You, which has been billed the biggest national health drive since Change4Life.

Read more here


March 07, 2016

Tax boost for MIDDLE BRITAIN: Millions of workers to get bonus in Chancellor's Budget - Daily Express

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It is certainly welcome news that the personal allowance and the higher rate thresholds are rumoured to rise, leaving more money in the pockets of those who have earned it.

"However, the speculation around the fuel duty rise would dismay taxpayers, particularly those on lower incomes as it would translate into a direct increase in household costs.

"The Chancellor must fight the temptation to rake in more money for the Treasury at the cost of hard-pressed families and instead focus on policies that encourage greater economic activity leading to further growth and increased employment." 

Read more here


March 07, 2016

One You health drive aims to help middle-aged Britons look after themselves - Telegraph and Argus

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Educational campaigns can be useful but costs must be kept down, particularly at a time when families up and down the country are having to budget hard.

"It is important that the campaign is informative rather than patronising and that large amounts of taxpayer-funded resources aren't wasted on simply stating the obvious."

Read more here


March 06, 2016

What should we do with Corporation Tax? - Radio 5 Live

In light of the news that Facebook is set to pay more corporation tax, Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, argues that it is time for radical reform of this outdated tax.

Listen here


March 06, 2016

Police SCANDAL as millions of 101 calls go unanswered, with some callers waiting hours - Daily Express

Last night Dia Chakravarty, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers are tired of the schemes they are paying for not providing the service they are meant to. It is simply not acceptable.” 

Read more here


March 04, 2016

Is it becoming harder for international firms to avoid tax? - BBC News

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the UK's TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The fact that Facebook has taken a voluntary decision to change its structure so it pays more Corporation Tax just goes to show how absurd the system has become."

The problem, as most campaigners see it, is the system rather than the players.

Mr Isaby said: "The outdated tax system is simply not suitable for the modern, global economy and leaves the tax liabilities of multinationals open to honest dispute."

Read more here


March 04, 2016

Call for corporation tax overhaul after Facebook 'transparency' vow - Bromsgrove Advertiser

The chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, said: "The fact that Facebook has taken a voluntary decision to change its structure so it pays more corporation tax just goes to show how absurd the system has become.

"The out-dated tax system is simply not suitable for the modern, global economy and leaves the tax liabilities of multinationals open to honest dispute. Instead of announcing another round of ineffectual 'clampdowns' at the Budget, the Chancellor should rethink corporation tax in its entirety."

Read more here


March 04, 2016

TPA urges Osborne to scrap corporation tax - Public Finance

The TaxPayers' Alliance has called on George Osborne to replace the current system of corporation tax at next month’s Budget, saying the “outdated” system was not longer suitable for a modern economy.

Read more here


March 04, 2016

Lost and stolen bins cost North Wales councils more than £300,000 in just three years - Daily Post

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TPA, said: “Hard-pressed families who are constantly battling with rising tax bills will be left wondering how this could possibly be good value for their money.

“Taxpayers are tired of councils pleading guilty while at the same time showing terrible judgement and a dreadful sense of priority when it comes to making spending decisions.”

Read more here


March 04, 2016

UK wine tax to top £4bn for the first time - Financial Times

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Like any consumption tax, wine duty is deeply regressive and hits those on lower incomes the hardest. Over 50% of what one pays for an average bottle of wine goes to the Treasury, with our wine duty being the 2nd highest in the EU. This is clearly bad news not just for consumers but also the leisure industry and the jobs that depend on it. If politicians are serious about helping families with their cost of living and businesses with creating jobs then cutting taxes on products like a bottle of wine would be a good place to start."

Read more here


March 03, 2016

Do libraries present real value for money? - BBC London

As Lambeth council decides to keep its libraries open, Dia Chakravarty discusses with Eddie Nestor whether it is right for libraries to be cut by councils.

Listen here


March 03, 2016

UK wine tax to top £4bn for the first time - The Financial Times

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayersAlliance, claimed cutting tax on products such as wine would help families struggling with the cost of living.

“Like any consumption tax, wine duty is deeply regressive and hits those on lower incomes the hardest.”

Read more here


March 03, 2016

Doctors at worst performing hospitals get more bonuses - The Times

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will struggle to understand how the worst-rated trusts appear to be handing out excellence awards at the same rate as the best-rated trusts. It is hard not to conclude that a rewards-for-failure culture is alive and well in many trusts deemed inadequate.”

Read more here (£)

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March 02, 2016

£1.7m storage facility for police could lead to sale of Lansdown Road base in Cheltenham - Gloucestershire Echo

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers will not be pleased.

"When times are hard and bobbies across the police force would have experienced a pay freeze or worse, spending such a huge amount of taxpayers' money on a storage facility cannot possibly be good value for taxpayers' money. Hard-pressed families expect their taxes to pay for actual policing, not to be wasted away like this."

Read more here


March 02, 2016

Should taxpayers be footing the bill for weight loss surgery? - BBC Hereford and Worcester

Dia Chakravarty says taxpayers will rightly want bariatric surgery to be the last  resort available rather than be seen as a quick fix.

Listen here


March 01, 2016

Fat women having boobs slimmed costs taxpayers £1million a year - The Daily Star

Dia Chakravarty, who is Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “There may be cases where surgery is the only solution.

“But in other cases less intrusive and less expensive treatments such as general weight loss programmes should be considered. An avoidable operation is not only an unnecessary burden on taxpayers but also a needless invasion of the patient’s body.”

Read more here


March 01, 2016

Councils face annual publication of senior staff pay - The MJ

Responding to the announcement, chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance Jonathan Isaby said:

‘It is heartening that the government has reiterated its pledge to encourage transparency in the public sector and it is also good news that the government has rejected the self-serving call from councils and local authorities to introduce a fee for each FoI request.’

Read more here


March 01, 2016

Rising council tax bills could leave Plymouth's poorest unable to pay, says charity leader - Plymouth Herald

Harry Davis, campaign manager at the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "For years hard-pressed families have been struggling with the huge burden of rising council tax bills as local authorities have lavishly spent our cash.

"In Plymouth alone, council tax has been increased on 15 of the last 17 opportunities, so taxpayers will have little sympathy for council bosses complaining about a reduction in the grant they are getting from central government.

"Council leaders should be doing more to bring down spending and cut out waste before asking taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets."

Read more here


February 29, 2016

Belfast City Council spends £100,000 on mayor portraits - Irish News

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said ratepayers will be "astonished" by the spending.

"When hard-pressed families are struggling to pay bills and councils up and down the country are having to find necessary savings, residents are bound to ask if the council has got its priorities right," she said.

"People expect their rates to pay for necessary services, not to be wasted on expensive paintings."

Read more here


February 29, 2016

Advertising for a handyman? You could be breaking the law - BBC Essex

The Equality and Human Rights Commission say that advertising for a handyman or a barmaid should be banned. TPA Political Director Dia Chakravarty argues that this is unnecessary meddling from another body trying to justify its funding.

Listen here


February 28, 2016

Social Justice Secretary warned against sparking ‘benefits stampede’ over ‘easier welfare’ - The Express

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance campaign group, warned voters “will want to know that appropriate safeguards will be in place to protect them from any abuse of the benefit system”.

She added: “The devolved government must not forget the crucial importance of keeping both spending and tax rates low to help ease the burden on already struggling families."

Read more here


February 27, 2016

George Osborne prepares to make even deeper cuts to public spending because of 'storm clouds' in world economy - just as MPs are awarded ANOTHER pay rise - This is Money

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'We have known for a while that further spending reductions were going to be essential in order to put the public finances back in order. It was complacent to slow down the pace of savings at the last Spending Review and spend money the Treasury didn't have. Tough action is needed to balance the nation's books and ease the burden on current and future taxpayers. The Budget is the right moment to set a path for the country to live within taxpayers' means.'

Read more here

 


February 26, 2016

George Osborne set to reveal more spending cuts amid economic storm clouds - Yeovil Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance campaign group, said: " It was complacent to slow down the pace of savings at the last Spending Review and spend money the Treasury didn't have.

"Tough action is needed to balance the nation's books and ease the burden on current and future taxpayers. The Budget is the right moment to set a path for the country to live within taxpayers' means."

Read more here


February 26, 2016

UK MPs will see basic salary hit £75,000 with public sector pay cap busting increase - International Business Times

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, told IBTimes UK: "Public sector workers as well as taxpayers will find it difficult to understand why MPs' pay rise goes above the 1% cap put in place. What is the point of the cap if it's not imposed?"

Read more here


February 24, 2016

Darlington council in crisis - the highest paid officials revealed in authority facing financial meltdown - The Northern Echo

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "These salaries will certainly raise eyebrows.

"At a time when hard-pressed families are struggling and colleagues across the public sector are dealing with pay freeze or worse, questions will be asked about whether the Council has got its priorities right. Town Hall bosses will continue to have to make some very tough decisions to find necessary savings. They must show restraint when it comes to their own pay packages as well."

Read more here


February 24, 2016

Are You Overpaying On Cornwall's Parking App? - Pirate FM

John O'Connell is the Director of the Tax Payers Alliance.

He told Pirate FM issues like that should be sorted out straight away.

"Parking can be very expensive, and motorists are already paying quite a lot to park in town, it is important that charges are not used as a way to plug gaps in the finances, but a reasonable charge will help make sure that the high streets stay busy and that local shops can keep on operating.

"Motorists are already paying a lot for parking so to find out that they have been overcharged, they will be doubly angry. I think the council should act immediately to recompense the people who have overpaid and they should make sure their new apps are working before they put them live."

Read more here


February 20, 2016

Is it time to reform Corporation tax? - BBC Scotland

Research Director Alex Wild debates accountant Richard Murphy on future of corporation tax.

Listen here


February 20, 2016

Departing MLAs entitled to £70k taxpayer-funded golden goodbye - Belfast Telegraph

David Hoey, Northern Ireland co-ordinator of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the payments were too big.

"Of course there will be some expenses incurred by departing MLAs winding up their offices, as well as staff redundancies to be handled, but taxpayers would expect those costs to be fully accounted for and kept to a minimum," he said.

"What especially sticks in the craw is the fact that those MLAs departing of their own volition are being handed a five-figure taxpayer-funded golden goodbye.

"Particularly when budgets are so tight, this kind of largesse is totally unjustifiable, as is the ability of former MLAs to keep the Aladdin's cave of gadgets and gizmos they've bought with taxpayers' money for their offices over the years."

Read more here


February 19, 2016

Plymouth can learn from 'more efficient' London borough, MP tells Plymouth councillors - Plymouth Herald

Mr Colvile, who has a home in Wandsworth, told a committee of councillors: "The council tax which is paid in Wandsworth is significantly lower, it's one of the lowest in the country, and they are an incredibly efficient local authority.

"There are differences, but there are ways in which you could ask them to come and have a look at the books and see if they have any advice. If you don't want to talk to them, talk to the Taxpayers' Alliance or some London boroughs who have ended up sharing their chief executives. It seems you must be willing to have an openness and talk to people about getting them to give you advice. If you say no, you will never make it at all."

Read more here


February 18, 2016

Osborne’s latest pensions raid: Flat rate tax relief would be both irrational and unfair - City AM

Private pensions have always been a soft target for cash-hungry chancellors. Nigel Lawson made pension funds restrict the size of their surpluses under threat of losing their tax-exempt status. Gordon Brown abolished Advance Corporation Tax in the great pension raid of 1997. And George Osborne has done his bit by slashing the annual and lifetime allowances by 84 and 44 per cent respectively.

Read more here


February 17, 2016

Fixing stubborn pothole ‘futile’, says former mayor -Local Gov

Potholes can cause a lot of problems. A recent report by the Tax Payers Alliance revealed councils paid out £8m between 2013 and 2015 in compensation claims due to damage caused by potholes.

Read more here


February 17, 2016

Jobless Somali refugee family who have not worked since arriving in the UK in 2008 are rehoused from their £2m Hampstead council house - into a £1.3m one around the corner - The Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'The welfare system is meant to be a safety net for those who are struggling, not a comfort blanket. Hard-pressed families struggling with their bills will be furious at such an extortionate amount being spent on housing a single family in one of the most expensive areas in London.'

Read more here


February 16, 2016

Air pollution cameras trialled on London roads to monitor vehicle emissions - Evening Standard

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance said while lowering pollution levels is a "worthy goal", many taxpayers may believe the cost for a three week trial is "pretty steep".

He added: "The authorities must be able to demonstrate the value in these devices and should always be seeking cheaper alternative solutions wherever possible."

Read more here


February 16, 2016

Departing MPs cost taxpayer £14,000 in moving out costs - Get West London

In a report by government watchdog The Taxpayers' Alliance , the organisation said they disagreed with the amount of resettlement grant MP's get - six months' pay when leaving Parliament - but understood that "loose ends ought to be tied up".

Read more here


February 15, 2016

Chancellor George Osborne should remember that making savings is the only feasible option to balance the nation's books - City AM

Whether or not George Osborne’s fiscal rules make sense, he’s stuck with them. His credibility hinges on whether or not the deficit is eliminated by 2019-20 and surpluses are recorded in “normal” times thereafter.

Read more here


February 15, 2016

Belfast council spends £2,300 on new chief executive robe - The Irish News

Harry Fairhead of the TaxPayers' Alliance at the time criticised the "vanity spending".

"Ratepayers will be disgusted that their council is forking out massive sums on fancy robes and ridiculous number plates," he said.

"This vanity spending has no place while services are being squeezed and savings are having to be made. The council needs to cut out its spendthrift tendencies and put any spare cash towards delivering core services."

Read more here


February 15, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: NHS bosses blasted for splurging MILLIONS on PR gurus amid Junior Doctors row - The Express

Jonathan Isaby of the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "We hear all too often that the NHS is facing a funding crisis, but there is clearly still a lot of work to be done to cut out unnecessary and wasteful spending.

"Hospitals and trusts employ far too many people in jobs that do nothing to deliver frontline patient care.

"Taxpayers expect the health budget to be spent on real doctors, not spin doctors."

Read more here


February 13, 2016

Commons Speaker John Bercow spent thousands entertaining foreign dignitaries and fellow MPs - The Independent

Dia Chakravarty, the political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “No one will begrudge footing the bill for the official functions which the Commons Speaker would reasonably be expected to host, but these costs must be kept under constant review and savings found where possible.

“The fact that records prior to 2012 have already been destroyed – coupled with the need to use freedom of information laws to get this data in the first place – will not instil confidence in the public that the Speaker’s office is run with a culture of transparency and openness.”

Read more here


February 13, 2016

Wolverhampton Council spends £8 MILLION silencing former staff - Express and Star

Dia Chakravarty, the TaxPayers’ Alliance’s political director, said: “Residents will be shocked that the council has spent millions of pounds to silence departing staff.

“These arrangements should not be made behind closed doors because residents need to be reassured their cash is not being spent covering up failings or wrongdoing, or on silencing potential whistleblowers.”

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Speaker splashed out tens of thousands on dinners, lunches and receptions - Tring Today

Commons Speaker John Bercow has spent thousands of pounds wining and dining fellow MPs - including more than £2,000 on a "standing down" dinner for his former deputy.

Taxpayers' money has been used to lay on a range of dinners, lunches and receptions for colleagues of Mr Bercow.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Church attacks Commissioner over figures - My Welsh Pool

Liberal Democrat candidate Richard Church has questioned whether Christopher Salmon is the worst Police Commissioner in Wales and said he was more interested in building his own personal empire.

The Taxpayers Alliance have also revealed that he is one of the top six most expensive Commissioners in the UK.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Commons speaker splashed out tens of thousands on dinners, lunches and receptions - Herald Scotland

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 

"While it is reassuring that the current Speaker has evidently cut expenditure by his office, how he and his staff spend taxpayers' money should be published as a matter of course so that it can be subject to proper scrutiny."

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Speaker splashed out tens of thousands on dinners, lunches and receptions - Stourbridge News

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "No one will begrudge footing the bill for the official functions which the Commons Speaker would reasonably be expected to host, but these costs must be kept under constant review and savings found where possible."

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Speaker John Bercow's £504,000 office spend on items including candles and photographs - The Evening Standard

One event involved a drinks bill of £476, including 10 bottles of sparkling Chardonnay, seven bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, 11 bottles of Merlot and a £52.97 tip. An order of “beeswax hand-finished candles” in July 2012 amounted to £1,023. Another batch of candles last July was £924.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

John Bercow: Speaker's entertainment bill revealed - BBC News

Commons Speaker John Bercow has spent thousands of pounds on entertaining other MPs and foreign politicians since April 2012, including £1,600 on a lunch for his Lithuanian counterpart.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Speaker splashed out tens of thousands on dinners, lunches and receptions - AOL News

The public has also paid for hundreds of postcard-sized photographs of the Speaker that are "sent out on request", nearly £2,000 worth of beeswax candles, and hundreds of pounds to tune the grand piano in his apartments.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Speaker splashed out tens of thousands on dinners, lunches and receptions - Salisbury Journal

The details have emerged in a full breakdown of spending charged to the Speaker's official House account over the last three-and-a-half years, obtained by the Press Association under freedom of information rules.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Speaker splashed out tens of thousands on dinners, lunches and receptions - The Cotswold Journal

Mr Bercow's official spending is not subject to the same rules as other MPs - who are banned by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) from claiming meals or alcohol on expenses.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Millions of households face 4 per cent council tax rise - The Financial Times

Roughly nine in 10 local authorities who have so far announced plans for 2016-17 have indicated they will raise council tax rates, according to analysis conducted by the Financial Times. Half of these councils propose the maximum 4 per cent increase permitted this year without asking residents to agree in a referendum.

Read more here (£)


February 12, 2016

£2000 on beeswax candles and £300 to tune a piano - when do Parliamentary expenses cross the line? - BBC Three Counties

The TPA Political Director, John O'Connell, discusses John Bercow's expenses and why some of them are not acceptable. BBC Three Counties.

Listen Here


February 12, 2016

Speaker John Bercow's expenses revealed - ITV News

The details of spending on the Speaker's official House account over the last three-and-a-half years were made public following a freedom of information request by the Press Association.

The Commons said information prior to April 2012 could not be provided because it had been destroyed "in accordance with the parliamentary records disposal policy".

Read more here


February 12, 2016

John Bercow splashed out tens of thousands on dinners, lunches and receptions - BT News

Commons Speaker John Bercow has spent thousands of pounds wining and dining fellow MPs – including more than £2,000 on a “standing down” dinner for his former deputy.

Read more here


February 12, 2016

John Bercow spends thousands of pounds on photos of himself, tuning a grand piano and meals with MPs - The Telegraph

The public paid for 350 postcard-sized photographs of the Speaker of the House of Commons costing £210 that are "sent out on request", nearly £2,000 worth of beeswax candles, and hundreds of pounds to tune the grand piano in his state rooms

Read more here


February 12, 2016

REVEALED: Lavish dinners, tuning his piano & £2k candles - how Speaker spends YOUR cash - The Express

Commenting on the new breakdown of the Speaker’s spending, Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"No one will begrudge footing the bill for the official functions which the Commons Speaker would reasonably be expected to host, but these costs must be kept under constant review and savings found where possible."

Read more here


February 12, 2016

Speaker John Bercow blows tens of thousands of taxpayer's cash on dinners, booze and beeswax candles - The Mirror

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"The fact that records prior to 2012 have already been destroyed - coupled with the need to use Freedom of Information laws to get this data in the first place - will not instil confidence in the public that the Speaker's Office is run with a culture of transparency and openness."

Read more here


February 11, 2016

Google: We pay 'fair' tax amount in the UK - Enfield Independent

Google has insisted that it pays a "fair" amount of tax in the UK, as one high-paid executive came under fire from MPs after admitting he did not know how much he earned.

Read more here


February 11, 2016

Eastleigh Borough Council bosses will meet tonight to discuss a new budget - Daily Echo

The TaxPayers' Alliance said: "All bodies involved must ensure they are as transparent as they can so that taxpayers can judge if every bit of waste is cut out before they are asked to dig deeper into their pockets."

Read more here


February 11, 2016

Commercial arm of the Ministry of Justice overseen by Epsom and Ewell MP Chris Grayling lost taxpayer over £1million - Your Local Guardian

Dia Chakravarty, the political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance criticised the MoJ's management of JSi, saying they 'hardly covered themselves in glory'.

Mrs Chakravarty said: "The venture appears to have cost taxpayers around £30,000 a month and it is essential that lessons are learned by all concerned so that we can ensure that such a loss-making project is not repeated in the future."

Read more here


February 11, 2016

Google: We pay 'fair' tax amount in the UK - Redditch and Alcester Advertuser

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The tax system is a complicated mess and grandstanding for the TV cameras simply won't do the job of fixing it. The Treasury Select Committee is now investigating corporate taxes, so the time is right to implement major reforms to the entire system.

"Taxpayers deserve simpler, lower taxes as well as a system they can trust."

Read more here


February 10, 2016

Unemployed are given FREE passes to gyms and swimming pools on the taxpayer as a reward for trying to find work - The Daily Mail

However, Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, disagreed.

He said: 'Everyone wants to see unemployment come down, but doling out taxpayer-funded incentives is no way to go about it.

'Those working on low incomes may not be able to afford swimming lessons and gym passes for themselves, so it's barmy to think that their taxes are subsidising free passes for others.

'Getting people back in to work should be part of a broader package of welfare reform that lowers tax disincentives and simplifies the system, making it more affordable for taxpayers and better for job-seekers.'

Read more here


February 10, 2016

BBC executive claimed morning suit on expenses, 'so he could access Ascot royal enclosure' - The Telegraph

Critics of the corporation expressed their amazement at the claim. Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Many taxpayers would find it difficult to afford a ticket to the races and hire a morning suit for the occasion, so expensing us for the item seems ill-considered, particularly for a BBC boss earning more than the Prime Minister."

Read more here


February 10, 2016

Fire Service called to rescue obese person every week Northern Ireland - Belfast Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty from the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "That is an astonishing amount to spend on obesity-related incidents.

"Obesity may well be a problem but people will be troubled that such a lot of precious resources are being spent on tackling this, particularly when fire services, along with other departments in the public sector, are having to find necessary savings."

Read more here


February 10, 2016

Residents' outrage over council's plans to empty black bins only ONCE a month - The Daily Mail

The TaxPayers' Alliance recently blasted UK councils for shortchanging their already struggling residents by looking at monthly black bin collections.

Spokeswoman Dia Chakravarty said: 'Residents pay their taxes to fund basic essential services and bin collection is about as basic as it gets. When trying to identify necessary savings, councils must do everything in their power to make sure every bit of waste is cut out before they consider cutting these services.'

Read more here


February 09, 2016

Revealed: Academy school head who is paid £400,000 after receiving a bumper pay rise - The Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, added:

‘People don't begrudge just rewards for good results but far too often taxpayer-funded salaries are handed out irrespective of performance, sometimes even rewarding failure. Parents will want to keep a very close eye on the Academy's operations to make sure this enormous salary really is good value for money.’

Read more here


February 09, 2016

What a stink: Fury as council reveals black bins could be collected just ONCE a month - The Express

TaxPayers' Alliance spokeswoman Dia Chakravarty said: "Residents pay their taxes to fund basic essential services and bin collection is about as basic as it gets.

"When trying to identify necessary savings, councils must do everything in their power to make sure every bit of waste is cut out before they consider cutting these services."

Read more here


February 09, 2016

Named and shamed: Council tax cheats in East Staffordshire owe more than £385,000 - Burton Mail

A spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "Tough action should be taken on those who refuse, while others who are simply struggling with rising bills should be helped with easier ways to pay.

"Keeping council tax low is the easiest way to ensure people don't struggle to pay, while the council should always differentiate those who can't pay and those who won't pay."

Read more here


February 09, 2016

Crackdown sees £100,000s recouped from those who didn't pay council tax in East Staffordshire - Uttoxeter Advertiser

The Taxpayers' Alliance said those who refuse to pay their rates should be dealt with by 'tough action' but people struggling to pay should be given the help they need by the borough council.

A spokesman for the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "Tough action should be taken on those who refuse, while others who are simply struggling with rising bills should be helped with easier ways to pay.

"Keeping council tax low is the easiest way to ensure people don't struggle to pay, while the council should always differentiate those who can't pay and those who won't pay."

Read more here


February 08, 2016

Derby City Council pays out £90k compensation due to its drivers crashing vehicles - Derby Telegraph

Derby City Council has had to increase its insurance premium by £12,000 due to the number of accidents its drivers have caused.

The authority has paid out more than £90,000 in compensation in the years 2013-14 and 2014-15. There were 17 crashes in 2014-15 – including one payment for £19,670. There were 16 the previous year.

A motoring organisation has criticised the figure as a "total waste of money" and has offered the drivers lessons to improve their driving.

The figure has been revealed after a freedom of information request from the Taxpayers' Alliance.

Read more here


February 08, 2016

Taxpayers’ Alliance warns decision to raise part of council tax by more than a third will hit Burntwood residents hard - Lichfield Live

The decision to raise part of the council tax by more than a third in Burntwood will “hit residents hard”, the Taxpayers’ Alliance has warned.

Read more here


February 08, 2016

MPs to claim being named and shamed for fiddling expenses is against their human rights - The Express

However, Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Given the lack of any clamour for a change to these long-standing rules, it certainly seems odd that the Government has quietly tried to slip this motion through and the public will want to question their motivation for doing so.

“It is all the more ironic that ministers appear to be relying on the same human rights laws they tell us they are committed to reforming.”

Labour MP John Mann, a member of the Treasury committee, also described the plans as “wholly unacceptable”.

Read more here


February 08, 2016

The thinning line between public services and private firms: TaxPayers's Alliance wants Freedom of Information laws to affect private companies - City AM

A more sensible voice in this area comes from the TaxPayers' Alliance, which also wants to see FoI laws extended so that they can continue to “follow the money” from taxpayer to end result.

Read more here


February 08, 2016

Majority of British public think companies receiving taxpayer's money should be subject to Freedom of Information laws - City AM

Some groups, such as the Taxpayers' Alliance, argue that extending FOI laws to private companies does not go far enough and should include charities and third sector organisations as well.

“Taxpayers' Alliance have been leading the campaign to protect and extend FOI to any organisation, private or charitable, which carries out public services, so it's good to see that sentiment reflected in these poll results,” Dia Chakravarty, Political Director the Taxpayers' Alliance, said.

“Taxpayers have every right to know how their money is being spent and recent incidents demonstrate the need for greater transparency as well as accountability among charities receiving public funds.”

Read more here


February 07, 2016

Pakistani drugs lord who has been ordered out of Britain and is desperate to leave costs us £100 a day because paper work bungle means we can not boot him out - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'What a complete mess where British taxpayers are having to shoulder the cost of imprisoning someone who is desperate to go home.

'This sort of incompetence is very difficult to stomach, particularly when hard-pressed families up and down the country are feeling the pinch and having to budget hard.

'The authorities need to pull up their socks and ensure the individual is returned home as soon as possible.'

Read more here


February 07, 2016

MPs to use Human Rights Act to claim anonymity if arrested by police - The Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Given the lack of any clamour for a change to these long-standing rules, it certainly seems odd that the Government has quietly tried to slip this motion through and the public will want to question their motivation for doing so. It is all the more ironic that ministers appear to be relying on the same human rights laws they tell us they are committed to reforming.”

Read more here


February 07, 2016

Is it right to shop on Sundays? - The Big Questions


February 07, 2016

Taxi! Now BBC fatcats waste £20,000 on cabs that weren’t needed when they arrived - The Express

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the Alliance, said:

“Wasting more than £20,000 on unwanted taxis is just not responsible behaviour.Hard-pressed households expect their licence fee to pay for quality programmes, not to be squandered away. We simply can’t afford it.”

In 2014, the BBC paid out for 2,098 taxis, 421 train tickets and 257 hotel rooms that it never used.

Read more here


February 06, 2016

Government announces cap on public sector payoffs - BBC Radio 4

BBC Political Correspondent, Chris Mason, explains how the government have set out guidelines to limit public sector pay offs after an investigation by the TPA exposed tens of thousands of public sector workers were earning over £100,000 a year.

A full breakdown of our research can be found here

Listen here


February 05, 2016

Complaints about rats surge by 20% after councils slash bin collections to once every three weeks - The Daily Mail

The TaxPayers' Alliance have blasted councils who have switched to monthly black bin collections.

Spokeswoman Dia Chakravarty said: 'Residents pay their taxes to fund basic essential services and bin collection is about as basic as it gets.

'When trying to identify necessary savings, councils must do everything in their power to make sure every bit of waste is cut out before they consider cutting these services.'

Read more here


February 05, 2016

Council tax bills ‘could rise for next four years’ - The Yorkshire Post

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “That’s a considerable tax hike which will hit residents hard.

“Councils pleading poverty seem to forget taxpayers are also hit by financial constraints and are already paying a huge amount in taxes.”

Read more here


February 05, 2016

Is it possible measure time wasted by the police? - Buckingham Today

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, discusses if the police should be spending time dealing with the protest by Malcolm Potts.

Listen here


February 05, 2016

Fire service criticised for buying £300,000 vehicle to rescue obese people - The Telegraph

The service has also spent thousands on tarpaulin-style stretchers and straps to help crews move the obese.
The rescues usually involve helping East Midlands Ambulance Service get people into a position where they can be treated.

Read more here


February 05, 2016

Ministers to look at further curbs on public sector pay-offs - BBC News

In new guidance, the government repeated that any public servant earning just over £140,000 - which is the amount the prime minister is paid - must have their salary authorised by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Read more here


February 04, 2016

Cash-strapped fire service spends £280,000 on truck called 'The Brute' to rescue obese people - The Mirror

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This is a worrying amount spent on a single piece of equipment.

"Obesity may well be a problem but when authorities are having to find necessary savings it does beg the question if this really can be the best use of taxpayers' money."

Read more here


February 04, 2016

Fire service is criticised for buying £300,000 off-road truck dubbed The Brute with a special crane to rescue obese people - The Daily Mail

A fire service has been criticised for spending almost £300,000 on an off-road vehicle specially adapted to rescue obese people.

The truck, which has been dubbed 'The Brute', has a mounted crane that allows fire crews to manouevre the obese, often when they need to be treated by paramedics.

Read more here


February 02, 2016

Potholes and trees the root of most compensation claims against Wokingham Borough Council - Bracknell News

A SLIP on wet stairs, a fall from play equipment, a trip over a paving stone and damage caused by potholes are some of the claims that have cost Wokingham tax payers nearly £74,000 in two years.

A total of 34 claims were paid out between 2013 and 2015 with two of the most common cases being damage caused by council-owned trees or pot holes in the road.

Read more here


February 02, 2016

Is council tax too regressive? - BBC Tees

Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, discusses why it is time to re-think council tax.

Listen here


February 02, 2016

Are These The Worst Potholes In Cornwall? - Pirate FM

Harry Fairhead is from the Tax Payer's Alliance and said: "We pay a lot to have the roads repaired. On average, Council Tax has gone up by 58% in real terms in the last twenty year so we pay a lot of money. We pay again when a car hits a pothole and a compensation claim is rightly made - so we pay twice.

"In very rural areas like Cornwall your car might be your only practical way of getting around so if the Council isn't looking after the roads and you put your car into a pothole and break the axel, you're in serious trouble."

Read more here


February 02, 2016

Cheating dentist extracted £223,000 from NHS through thousands of false claims - The Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This is a huge blow to hard-pressed taxpayers. Defrauding the NHS is taking precious limited resources away from cancer drugs and MRI machines, so this is a despicable crime. It's a good job that the authorities have apprehended this person but perhaps better checks need to be in place so that nobody can get away with stealing from the NHS for this long again."


February 01, 2016

Big businesses handed taxpayer cash to install energy-saving lightbulbs - The Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers' Alliance said that “urgent action” was needed to tackle the energy crunch but that “handing out millions of pounds to huge companies already trying to cut costs to nudge them into changing their light bulbs hardly seems like a solution or money well spent”.

“Ministers need to stop messing around with silly schemes like this and create a decent investment climate so that generation capacity can be increased before the lights go out,” he said.

Read more here


February 01, 2016

Council tax 'to rise of four per cent' in April - The Express

Dia Chakravarty, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “When councils plead poverty they seem to forget that hardpressed residents are facing the same financial strain in these difficult times.

“They must do everything they can to cut out every bit of waste before asking struggling taxpayers to dig deeper.”

Read more here


February 01, 2016

Conservative peer Lord Farmer says £300-a-day House of Lords allowance is 'inadequate' - The Independent

A millionaire Conservative Party donor who sits in the House of Lords has said that the allowance of £300 per day in the second chamber is "inadequate."

Lord Farmer, a former hedge fund manger, said that Lords peers deserve more because attending the House "restricts their earning opportunities elsewhere."

Read more here


February 01, 2016

Canterbury City Council Compensation Payout - ITV Meridian


January 30, 2016

Slips and trips: £73,000 of taxpayers’ money paid out in compensation by North Lincolnshire Council - Scunthorpe Telegraph

More than £5,700 was paid out in compensation last year by insurers for North Lincolnshire Council to a claimant who slipped.

It was the biggest single payment in 2014-15, but was over-shadowed by a £9,827 pay-out in 2013-14 to a claimant who slipped on a wet floor.

The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that same year £8,580.27 was paid out to another claimant who tripped on a raised paving slab.

Read more here


January 30, 2016

Lords' £300-a-day allowance isn't enough to live on - Daily Mail

Alex Wild, research director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'It would be hard to square David Cameron's commitment to the cost of politics with hiking the tax-free peers' allowance.

'At a time when the government is rightly looking to keep spending down, they need to practise what they preach.'

Read more here


January 29, 2016

Hull lawyer Neil Hudgell: 'Council's failings to blame for amount of compensation claims' - Hull Daily Mail

The council said some of the claims had become "a joke" and said it would challenge more cases brought by "ambulance chaser" legal firms.

But Neil Hudgell, a personal injury specialist, says spurious claims are a myth and the council needs to get its act together.

Read more here


January 29, 2016

Compensation culture: Leicestershire councils pay out nearly £400,000 for injuries and damaged goods - Leicester Mercury

Councils across Leicestershire have paid out more than £400,000 in compensation in the past two years.

They have given money to people whose cars have been damaged by pot holes or by reversing refuse lorries.

Payments have also been made to people who have tripped up on mats and uneven pavements.

The authorities have also paid out to people whose homes were damaged or were defective.

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Sale of public assets in 2015 was biggest in UK history - MSN Money

More than £1 billion was raised by the sale of the Government's remaining shares in Royal Mail, while a further £800 million came from the sale of a 40% stake in Eurostar.

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Apple warned it may have to pay back billions in EU taxes but its defiant finance boss tells Brussels: 'We owe you nothing' - Daily Mail

Meanwhile Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'With people's faith in the tax system at an all-time low, the need to make [the tax code] more simple is more pressing than ever. It is high time our politicians actually took action to make this happen rather than just posturing and playing to the gallery.'

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Sale of public assets in 2015 was biggest in UK history - Southern Daily Echo

A total of £26.4 billion was made through privatisations, beating by almost £6 million the previous record set in 1987, according to new analysis by the Press Association.

The sell-offs included the Government's remaining 30% stake in Royal Mail, 5% of the Royal Bank of Scotland and more than 11 billion shares in Lloyds.

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Council tax rise could plug police funding gap in Devon and Cornwall - BBC News

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Tax Payers' Alliance, said:

"A tax rise of this level will come as a blow to hard-pressed families.

At a time when residents are feeling the pinch, public bodies should be doing everything they possibly can to ease the tax burden, not raise it. Devon Council has raised council tax 16 times in the last two decades, so decision makers should make sure every bit of waste is cut out before asking taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets."

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Apple made enough to pay its £11.8million tax bill in just two hours: Company made £5.9m an hour in last three months - Daily Mail

However Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘When the tax code is more than 21,000-pages long, it’s hardly surprising there’s so much confusion over what the right amount of tax is for any company. With people’s faith in the tax system at an all-time low, the need to make it more simple is more pressing than ever. It is high time our politicians actually took action to make this happen rather than just posturing and playing to the gallery.’

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Sale of public assets in 2015 was biggest in UK history - Spenborough Guardian

Welcoming the figures, TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "M inisters are absolutely right to have identified assets to be sold off. Where shares, buildings or land no longer need to be in Government hands, their sale can help ease the burden on already hard-pressed taxpayers."

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Selling public assets raised more than £26 billion in 2015 - ITV News

More than £26 billion was raised by the Government through sales of public assets, such as Royal Mail, in 2015.

The total, £26.4bn, was more than any other year in history, according to Press Association analysis.

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Our £1.6bn bill to save RBS staff pensions - Daily Mail

This bank continues to be a millstone around taxpayers necks as it announces plans to plug a monstrous deficit in its hugely generous final-salary pension scheme. When RBS was bailed out it was an emergency measure to prevent an even greater financial catastrophe, and taxpayers would not have expected to still be on the hook for bankers' pensions 8 years down the line. Every day the government holds on to these shares is another day they risk the share price falling even further.

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Top SNP MP moonlights as £500-a-day NHS surgeon: Party's health spokesman boosts £74,000 salary by working at cash-strapped hospital - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘There’s nothing inherently wrong with MPs having outside interests – in fact, it can be a useful way of keeping them in touch with the realities of life outside Westminster and ensuring it is not filled with 650 identikit professional politicians.

'But making promises to the electorate which they later appear to break is, of course, another matter – on which constituents will want to judge them.’

Read more here


January 28, 2016

Google’s tax affairs and doing the right thing - The Times

Sir, Corporation tax revenues will continue sliding as competition drives down rates, and the government is rightly leading the way on this. But taxing companies is merely a proxy for taxing people, and a poor one at that. Only shareholders, employees and customers can bear the burden of corporation tax, something far too few people realise.

With all faith in the system now lost, taxes on capital income should be abolished and replaced with a tax on distributed income.

Jonathan Isaby

CEO, TaxPayers’ Alliance

Read more here (£)


January 28, 2016

Tories accused of shortchanging public as £26bn privatisation haul revealed - The Guardian

The TaxPayers’ Alliance welcomed the disposals. Jonathan Isaby, the chief executive, said: “Ministers are absolutely right to have identified assets to be sold off. Where shares, buildings or land no longer need to be in government hands, their sale can help ease the burden on already hard-pressed taxpayers.”

Read more here


January 27, 2016

Compensation payouts cost taxpayers in Stevenage hundreds of thousands of pounds - Hertfordshire Mercury

In total Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) have paid out £765,202.45 between 2010 and 2014, these cover motoring, public liability and property damage claims and includes the legal fees

Read more here


January 27, 2016

Taxpayers' watchdog dismay as Worcestershire's councils pay out £400,000 in compensation claims - Droitwich Spa Advertiser

NEARLY £400,000 has been paid out in compensation by Worcestershire's councils since 2013 - with hundreds of people making bizarre claims.

Your Worcester News can reveal how both council workers and members of the public are making ludicrous claims for money, many of which are refused.

It includes one worker who jarred their arm while weeding, a parent who demanded compensation after their child fell through the bars of playground equipment and a brazen pedestrian who slipped on wet leaves.

Read more here


January 27, 2016

Pension poverty: Millions face RUNNING OUT of money as they live to record old age - The Express

Dia 

Chakravarty, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “People are living longer and that means reforms are essential if pensions are going to be sustainable.

“We are deferring the pain of paying the bills onto our children and grandchildren by loading up on debt, so the sooner we face up to economic reality the better.”

Read more here


January 26, 2016

South Gloucester MP Luke Hall: 'I saved hundreds of pounds by avoiding Parliament suppliers' - Bristol Post

Campaign group the TaxPayers Alliance' said the House of Commons should be doing more to keep expenditure down.

"Families and businesses up and down the country have to work within tight budgets and seek out best value for their money, and the same should apply to anyone spending taxpayers' cash,"

Read more here


January 26, 2016

Councils vow crackdown after £8m pothole payouts - Transport Network

The Local Government Association (LGA) has said councils are determined to tackle false claims after the new figures for compensation payouts for 2013-2015 were released by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

It follows the RAC reporting that it has seen a 24% annual increase from 2015 to 2015 in call-outs to vehicles that it believes have suffered damage from poor road surfaces.

Read more here


January 26, 2016

HMRC overpaid staff by £1.2m last year - Economia

Dia Chakravarty, political director, at the TaxPayers' Alliance, commented, "Hard-pressed families will be furious that HMRC has been overpaying its employees by mistake at their expense.

“HMRC has a terrible track record, ranging from unanswered telephone calls to repeatedly getting people's tax code wrong. It's vital that HMRC makes drastic and rapid improvements to its services, so that taxpayers can be sure that the organisation is being run efficiently," she added.

Read more here


January 26, 2016

Wolverhampton council spends £32 million on agency staff - Express and Star

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “The council could examine if cutting down the number of agency staff would be better value for taxpayers’ money.

“At times like this when taxpayers are feeling the pinch, councils across the country need to do their best to keep costs down. Cutting out every little bit of waste would mean more more resources for essential frontline services such as healthcare and road maintenance.”

Read more here


January 26, 2016

Google tax deal: Taxing companies is after all just a stealthy way to tax people - City AM

Another day, another deluge of headlines about a multinational’s tax affairs.

Read the full column here


January 26, 2016

Fire chief may access £300,000 pension despite returning to job - The Telegraph

A highly-paid fire chief has been allowed retire for a month and access his £300,000 pension - before being re-hired for his own job.

West Yorkshire Fire Service said Simon Pilling officially retired from his £164,000 a year role at the end of last month - but will be returning to the post of chief fire officer and chief executive on February 1.

The news comes as the force faces the possibility of merging with services in South Yorkshire in a bid to save money.

Read more here


January 26, 2016

Reforms to restore our trust - The Sun

We must do two things to restore public trust in the tax system.

One is to simplify it. Taxes are too high, too complicated and too unpredictable.

Read the full column here


January 25, 2016

Should we try to cure malaria abroad when we can't keep people warm at home? - LBC

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, discusses our foreign aid spend with Nick Ferrari.

Listen here


January 25, 2016

Gloucester City Council paid over £17,000 to replace wheelie bins in 2015 - Gloucester Citizen

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the Tax Payers' Alliance, said: "These figures will certainly raise eyebrows.

"When taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet, councils must do everything in their power to keep costs down.

"Perhaps looking at cheaper alternatives could be a solution."

Read more here


January 25, 2016

Electric cars to be allowed in bus lanes - BBC News

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: "Going green is a worthy goal, but why should already hard-pressed taxpayers be expected to subsidise the expensive choice of vehicle of such a tiny minority?"

Read more here


January 25, 2016

Fire chief on £164,000-a-year is allowed to retire and access his £300,000 pension even though he'll be back in the same job a month later - Daily Mail

But TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby, said:

'This is just typical of our overly-complicated, bureaucratic public sector where it is impossible for any ordinary taxpayer to work out what on earth the pay arrangement for these highly paid fat cats is. If this person is to be hired again, why is he being allowed to retire for just a month with access to such a humongous pension pot?

'Not only is it utterly unfair to taxpayers, it is also a huge blow to ordinary firefighters and public sector workers across the country who have faced pay cuts or worse over the last few years.'

Read more here


January 25, 2016

Tax code needs radical simplification in light of Google's £130m deal with HMRC - City AM

Following the news that Google will pay £130m to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in unpaid corporation tax, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has called for the "radical simplification" of the tax code.

Read more here


January 25, 2016

Free TV licences to be abolished? - BBC Three Counties

As the BBC may ask over-75s to give up free TV licences, Political Director, Dia Chakravarty, discusses why this is a sensible idea.

Listen here


January 25, 2016

Cities Plan Electric Car Perks To Drive Up Sales - Sky News

Jonathan Isaby from the Taxpayers' Alliance said: "The Government at the moment is spending way beyond its means. It hasn’t balanced the nation's books.

"The money is simply not there to fund extravagant schemes which are frankly vanity projects aimed at a very few number of people who have chosen to buy very expensive vehicles."

Read more here


January 25, 2016

Council under pressure about cost of advice over Cross Hands development - Carmarthen Journal

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Unless there is a reason linked to commercial sensitivity, councils should publish information on projects like this.

"It will impact on the whole community so residents deserve to know what decisions were made and why, and judge whether taxpayers' money has been wasted."

Read more here


January 25, 2016

Cities Plan Electric Car Perks To Drive Up Sales - Swansea Sound

With some models requiring charging around every 85 miles many drivers remain unconvinced and critics claim the investment is a waste of public money while cuts were being made to other budgets.

Read more here


January 25, 2016

Restricting freedom of information betrays all of us - The Times

An extract from Jonathan Isaby's Thunderer Column for The Times :

Since its addition to the statute book in 2000, I had thought the Freedom of Information Act to be one of those landmark pieces of legislation that was an irreversible leap forward, like votes for women or the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

As far as I am concerned, anyone working for central or local government should expect those of us footing the bills to be able to see where our money has gone. The public sector doesn’t draw on some mythical pot of “government money” for its funding: it’s all taxpayers’ money and, save for matters such as national security or affairs relating to private individuals’ health and welfare, we taxpayers should have the ability to scrutinise all that is being done in our name.

Our FoI legislation has helped to foster a culture of openness at every level of government. Those of us who have used it to uncover frivolous or unnecessary spending can certainly rejoice in having forced politicians and bureaucrats to change their wasteful ways.

Those manning the barricades to defend FoI may have a variety of motives. But when the TaxPayers’ Alliance finds itself aligned with a plethora of trade unions and organisations as diverse as the British Humanist Association and Greenpeace, we can but hope the government will take notice.

Read more here (£)


January 24, 2016

Sir Cover-Up under fire again - Daily Mail

Dia Chakravarty of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: ‘This huge delay is completely unacceptable and shows a worryingly lax attitude toward taxpayers’ right to access crucial information about how our money is spent.

‘It is astonishing that not only is the Cabinet Office failing to carry out its responsibility of publishing the data, but also refusing to give a proper explanation as to the reason for this tardiness.’

Read more here


January 23, 2016

12 AMs to receive payoffs of up to £65,000 when they stand down in May - South Wales Evening Post

Political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group Dia Chakravarty said: "These expensive resettlement payments must stop. Bosses will bring their moral authority to question by awarding themselves these huge payments at a time when taxpayers as well as colleagues are facing pay freezes or worse."

Read more here


January 23, 2016

Foreign aid fat cats are the best-paid in Whitehall and pocket nearly twice the salary of average workers - Daily Mail

Last night Alex Wild of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘At a time when savings need to be made, the scale of pay, perks and expenses enjoyed by those in the public sector elite should be under constant scrutiny to see if taxpayers are getting value for money.
‘What’s more, some functions of these departments could easily be scrapped which would save even more taxpayers’ money.’

Read more here


January 22, 2016

Do you know your horseplay from your hijinks? - BBC Wiltshire

Harry Fairhead from the TaxPayers' Alliance discusses compensation payouts by Wiltshire and Swindon councils

Listen here


January 22, 2016

Jonathan Isaby discusses TPA Research - BBC Look East


January 22, 2016

Council taxpayers face double whammy - Western Morning News

Representatives of the Taxpayers Alliance have taken a different stance, stating that councils should learn to live within their means. Political director Dia Chakravarty said residents expect the tax they already pay to fund essential local services. "If the existing money is not going towards those services then perhaps there is a case to reexamine the local authority's priorities," she said. "Councils need to make sure every bit of waste is cut out before asking struggling taxpayers to dig deeper into their pockets."

Read more here


January 22, 2016

Compensation claims against Dorset Council reach an all time high - Buzz Bournemouth

Research conducted by the Taxpayers Alliance shows the types of claims made to each particular county and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole all saw claims which amounted to a lot of money. Amongst these were claims made concerning car damages and leaks.

Read more here


January 22, 2016

Civil Service heads handed 'a baffling' 2.1% pay increase - Belfast Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the increases in salaries were "baffling".

"The public sector will need to continue to make some very tough decisions in order to find the necessary savings in our national budget," she added.

Read more here


January 21, 2016

Has the claims culture gone mad? - BBC Cornwall

Harry Fairhead discuses the TPA's Compensation Claims report on BBC Cornwall.

Listen here


January 21, 2016

North west top for compensation claims - ITV News

More money's been paid out in compensation claims against councils in the North West than anywhere else in the country. Nearly 22 million pounds has been claimed since 2013. The TaxPayers' Alliance say the figures suggest authorities are failing to deliver services like road maintenance.

Read more here


January 21, 2016

North-East councils paying out millions in compensation for slips on grass, stress and damage caused by potholes - The Northern Echo

NORTH-East councils paid out more than millions in compensation in two years for everything from stress to people slipping on grass, a new report reveals.

Read more here


January 21, 2016

£4.5m compensation payouts by Welsh councils in two years - BBC Wales

Almost £4.5m was paid out by Welsh councils and their insurers on compensation claims over the past two years, according to new figures. One claim saw Newport council pay a cyclist £375 after they "came into contact with stingy nettles" on a path.
The sums, in a report by the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA), show Cardiff paid out the highest amount in Wales - £800,000.

Read more here


January 21, 2016

Fuel-ish mistake by Lincolnshire’s cops - Spalding Guardian

However, Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said paying for the repairs was yet another strain on the taxpayer.

She said: “Mistakes happen, but the authorities must remember that when taxpayers are struggling to pay their bills, every penny counts. These costly mistakes mean less money available for essential frontline services. Lincolnshire Police must do better to minimise these incidents.”

Read more here


January 21, 2016

19 years of council tax increases isn't enough for Surrey County Council - BBC Radio Surrey

Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, can't hide his disgust at the news Surrey County Council are set to raise their council tax again - despite 19 increases in the last 20 years.

Listen here


January 21, 2016

Is £8 million too much for councils to spend on pothole compensation? - BBC Humberside

Harry Fairhead, Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance, discusses the huge compensation payments made by councils.

Listen here


January 21, 2016

Compensation paid by Calderdale Council for misplaced glasses - Brighouse Echo

The claims included someone tripping over a raised manhole on a carriageway and receiving a £22,000 payout and £65 for misplaced reading glasses.

Other key findings of this research by the TPA found nearly £8,000,000 was paid out in claims related to potholes across the UK over 2013-2014 and 2014-2015

Read more here


January 21, 2016

Campaigners call for more accident prevention after over £700k paid out in compensation by council - Witney Gazzette

The organisation’s political director Dia Chakravarty said: “It is good to know where money is going and where it is being paid out there is a transparency point.

“Of the £104m paid out across Great Britain nearly £8m was related to potholes.

“It is about asking ‘could the councils have done better to prevent claims in the first place?’”

Read more here


January 21, 2016

Failed Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has £9,000 portrait and YOU'RE paying for it - The Express

Alex Wild, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "There may well be a need to record history but costs borne by taxpayers must be kept to a minimum. Maybe we can open these opportunities up to our excellent art students, who will get a platform to showcase their work without costing taxpayers a bomb." 

Read more here


January 21, 2016

Sevenoaks District Council paid out £125,000 in compensation claims between 2013-2015 - Sevenoaks Chronicle

In 2014-15 the largest payout for a single claim was £5,861 for an incident categorised as "hit parked vehicle/property" and among the other claims listed one was labelled "fire/electrical" and another as "collision with vehicle in opposite direction".

Read more here


January 21, 2016

Councils pay out over £100million in compensation claims in just two years - The Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, the chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The compensation culture is costing taxpayers dear and every pound spent on settlements or higher insurance premiums is a pound that isn't spent on essential services such as road maintenance or social care."

Read more here


January 21, 2016

Town halls lose £8m in pothole payouts - The Times

Research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance shows that “compensation culture” has resulted in 42,000 payments made between 2013-14 and 2014-15, at a total cost to the taxpayer of £104 million.

Read more here (£)


January 20, 2016

We must fight for the Freedom of Information Act - Share Radio

John O'Connell, Chief Operation Officer at the TaxPayers' S Alliance, explains why FOI  is a necessity and must be protected.

Listen here


January 20, 2016

NHS patients offered chance to visit France for treatment - Harborough Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"It is astonishing that the authorities are delivering this news without any sign of embarrassment. Whatever the problems facing the local hospitals, outsourcing our healthcare needs across the Channel cannot be a serious or a sustainable solution. Given the sheer amount of taxpayers' money that successive governments have thrown at the NHS, it is time we started living up to the 'envy of the world' title."

Read more here


January 20, 2016

Council sets record with financial clean bill of health - The Times of Tunbridge Wells

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This is certainly heartening news. Residents will hope that the council continues with this trend so that taxpayers get the services they pay for and deserve. Other local authorities could look to this council for lessons on transparency and savings.”

Read more here


January 20, 2016

Wrong fuel in cop cars sees Lincolnshire Police shell out thousands of pounds in repairs - Lincolnshire Echo

Dia Chakravarty, Political Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said paying for the repairs was yet another strain on the taxpayer.

"Mistakes happen, but the authorities must remember that when taxpayers are struggling to pay their bills, every penny counts," she said.

"These costly mistakes mean less money available for essential frontline services. Lincolnshire Police must do better to minimise these incidents."

Read more here


January 19, 2016

Expenses watchdog refuses to name 17 MPs probed over past eight months - The Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added:

“Transparency is key here as taxpayers deserve to know exactly where their money is going. It may be that claims in breach of the rules result from administrative errors rather than malign intent, but in cases where a legitimate complaint is made, it seems unreasonable that those subject to investigation should be able to remain under a cloak of secrecy.”

Read more here


January 19, 2016

£66,000 of taxpayers' money spent on consultants after Darlington Borough Council children's services condemned - The Northern Echo

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will want to keep a very close eye on how this grant is spent and whether it has the desired impact in rescuing the council’s failing services.”

Read more here


January 18, 2016

Asylum centre costs more than world's most exclusive hotels - The Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"It is absolutely ludicrous that the required service couldn't be provided for a fraction of the cost. It shows an utter contempt for hard-pressed taxpayers' money and a complete lack of responsibility when it comes to budgeting. Nobody in their right mind could have thought this was an appropriate amount to spend on providing shelter to such a small number of people."

Read more here


January 18, 2016

Carmarthenshire Council under pressure to reveal true cost of failed Sainsbury's plan in Cross Hands - South Wales Evening Post

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Unless there is a reason linked to commercial sensitivity, councils should publish information on projects like this. It will impact on the whole community so residents deserve to know what decisions were made and why, and judge whether taxpayers' money has been wasted."

Read more here


January 18, 2016

Is it £94k or £1m? Manchester council want limited access to 'costly' FOIs... but don't know how much they spend a year - Mancunian Matters

Dia Chakravarty, the political director of campaign group The TaxPayers' Alliance, deemed this expenditure a ‘waste’, saying the money should be redirected to upholding transparency.

She told MM: “Councils who bemoan the cost of responding to FoI requests could save a lot of money and effort by making more information available to public of their own volition.

“Taxpayers have every right to scrutinise how their money is being spent and unless there is a compelling reason to withhold information, authorities must do more to be transparent.

“In any case, a council which complains about FoI costs but thinks nothing of wasting over a million pounds on communications and PR should re-examine its priorities.”

Read more here


January 18, 2016

£10m in golden handshakes for Northern Ireland's council officials - Belfast Telegraph

Dia Chakravarty, the political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the pay-offs were irresponsible.

"This will come as a shock to residents," she said.

"When necessary savings are having to be made across the public sector with colleagues having seen pay freezes or worse, these pay-outs to fat cats at taxpayers' expense are irresponsible and insensitive. Hard-pressed families expect their money to pay for essential services, not to line the pockets of already highly-paid public sector bosses."

Read more here


January 17, 2016

The Lord Speaker who racked up expense claims worth thousands for chauffeur-driven journeys is to have a £12,000 portrait painted at taxpayer expense - Daily Mail

Following the portrait revelation in The Sun on Sunday, Dia Chakravarty of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: 'This will not be welcome news to families struggling with the cost of living.'

Read more here


January 16, 2016

Is it ever fair to raise taxes for government failings? - BBC York

Dia Chakravarty argues against raising council tax to pay for flood defences when government should be planning ahead.

Listen here


January 16, 2016

NHS officials to be offered private healthcare? - LBC

Officials at NICE are being offered private cover according to The Times. Dia Chakravarty discusses the legitimacy of this on LBC.

Listen here


January 15, 2016

Milking it: MPs claim expenses for a frother, coffee machine and £900 letter folding device - The Sun

Alex Wild, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “In whose world is a milk frother deemed to be an office essential?

“MPs must never forget they are spending taxpayers’ cash.”

Read more here


January 15, 2016

Plastic bag tax FAIL: £26.7m worth of bags STOLEN since charge introduced - The Express

The Taxpayers Alliance previously found families are set to pay an extra £348 million over ten years on even more resource intensive bin liners and bags for life, thanks to the tax.

And the Treasury is expected to make an extra £70 million through extra VAT, as a result of the charge.

Read more here


January 15, 2016

Ministers splash thousands on limo lifts for their paperwork - The Sun

And Dia Chakravarty, political director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “These boxes seem to have taken more journeys than Christopher Columbus.

“Even taking into account security reasons, Whitehall really needs to do better to keep costs down at a time when most taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet.”

Read more here


January 13, 2016

Think tanks urge people to be able to choose for themselves on sugar - City AM

Lobby group the TaxPayers Alliance has also called on the government to drop the sugar tax proposals, urging MPs to focus instead on education and personal responsibility.

Read more here


January 12, 2016

Five News: Alex Wild on the strike by junior doctors


January 12, 2016

Why police and crime commissioners are here to stay - The Guardian

Some important myths still need busting. For example, there are no big savings to be gained from abolishing PCCs, as previously suggested in parliament; the only saving would have been from scrapping the next election. Indeed the Taxpayers Alliance has recently confirmed that PCCs are £2m a year cheaper, nationally, than the police authorities they replaced. I have saved £2.9m, the top saving in the country, cutting 68% off the cost of the former Northumbria Police Authority and I have invested it all into policing and community safety.

Read more here


January 12, 2016

Thousands of junior doctors prepare to strike on Tuesday - Wales Online

Junior doctors are set to go on strike putting hospitals under "additional pressure." Patients are being advised that they should seek help elsewhere, NHS bosses have said.

Around 100 picket lines are being put in place for Tuesday's strike, with a large concentration in and around London.

Read more here


January 12, 2016

Office for Tax Simplification praises TPA Research


January 12, 2016

London Live: Alex Wild discusses the strike by junior doctors


January 12, 2016

Taxpayers' Alliance slams Basildon Council over new £4,300 chain for deputy mayor - Dagenham Today

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, called the expense a ’pompous extravagance’ and ’a complete waste of taxpayers’ money’.

Read more here


January 11, 2016

Policing Administrative Costs - House of Commons

Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire: The TaxPayers Alliance and HMRC have made clear that they consider Wiltshire to be both efficient and effective administratively in delivering first-class services, so good governance does not have to be taxing. Is the Minister confident that the existing legislative framework allows sufficient latitude for reforming police and crime commissioners, such as Wiltshire’s Angus Macpherson, to flatten and de-layer management structures and rationalise working practices in the interests of front-line policing?

Read more here


January 11, 2016

Don't strike tomorrow, David Cameron urges medics: Walkout by junior doctors will be 'damaging and cause real difficulties for patients' - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'The BMA should call off this dangerous strike and return to the negotiating table before patients suffer, not least because they insist that patient safety is their paramount concern.'

Read more here


January 11, 2016

Cameron plea to junior doctors over 'damaging' strike - Croydon Guardian

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The BMA should call off this dangerous strike and return to the negotiating table before patients suffer, not least because they insist that patient safety is their paramount concern."

Read more here


January 11, 2016

Cameron plea to junior doctors over 'damaging' strike - The Oxford Times

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "The BMA should call off this dangerous strike and return to the negotiating table before patients suffer, not least because they insist that patient safety is their paramount concern."

Read more here


January 11, 2016

Fury as top public sector earners DEMAND even MORE in taxpayers cash as ‘compensation’ -The Daily Express

Alex Wild, research director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"The gall displayed by unions demanding special treatment for the upper-echelons of the public sector elite is breathtaking - the tax system already allows top earners in the public sector to enjoy retirement incomes twice as high as those saving into money purchase schemes without triggering punitive tax charges. The last thing we need are complicated exemptions so those fortunate enough to be members of these gold-plated schemes can enjoy even more preferential treatment to the taxpayers who fund them."

Read more here


January 10, 2016

Top public sector earners demanding even higher wages to compensate pension tax relief cuts - The Telegraph

Alex Wild, research director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"The gall displayed by unions demanding special treatment for the upper-echelons of the public sector elite is breathtaking - the tax system already allows top earners in the public sector to enjoy retirement incomes twice as high as those saving into money purchase schemes without triggering punitive tax charges. The last thing we need are complicated exemptions so those fortunate enough to be members of these gold-plated schemes can enjoy even more preferential treatment to the taxpayers who fund them."

Read more here


January 09, 2016

Student Nurses Protest Over Bursary Cuts - LBC / Sky News

Carmel Lloyd of the Royal College of Midwives, who was at the march, said the bursary supported many mature students with significant financial and caring commitments.

But Alex Wild from the Taxpayers' Alliance said the changes were a "sensible" idea that would bring nursing into line with other students who have to take out loans. Mr Wild said a Government cap on training places meant two-thirds of those who applied for nursing places are rejected. He added that as a result the NHS has to pay for recruiting nurses from abroad and expensive agency staff.

Read / Watch more here


January 09, 2016

Misconduct report finally reveals reason for cop's sacking, after months of secrecy - Yellow Advertiser

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has criticised Essex Police for its unnecessary secrecy, which ultimately wasted taxpayers’ money on a Freedom of Information query, when the true reason for the sacking was going to be made public in the report anyway.

The body’s political director Dia Chakravarty said: “It’s a shame that authorities don’t share more information of their own volition, instead of waiting for Freedom of Information requests. Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent, so it really doesn’t make sense for authorities to be unnecessarily secretive. Being more transparent with information would save all parties a lot of time and hassle.”

Read more here


January 09, 2016

Sir Jeremy Heywood's department 'has worst FoI record' - Ledbury Reporter

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "These statistics are extremely disheartening and demonstrate a worrying disregard for transparency and accountability.

"Unless there is a compelling reason to withhold information from the public, government departments must take the responsibility of responding to FoI requests seriously. Freedom of Information requests should be seen as a tool for healthy dialogue between us and those who govern us and treated as such."

Read more here


January 08, 2016

ITV Anglia - Jonathan Isaby discusses the proposed sugar tax


January 08, 2016

Channel 4 News - Jonathan Isaby on Baroness D'Souza's expenses


January 08, 2016

Staffordshire council crashes bill hits £219,000 - Express and Star

Dia Chakravarty, political director of the alliance, said: “Accidents will happen but it is important that the council do all it can to ensure taxpayer-funded vehicles are well cared for and driven by responsible, qualified drivers. A spike in the number of breakdown or accidents last year is concerning.”

Read more here


January 08, 2016

Trust's £570k revamp of newly-refurbished offices a 'ludicrous waste of taxpayer cash' - Slough Express

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“Taxpayers will struggle to understand how the trust could possibly see fit to waste such a ludicrous amount of money on refurbishing offices which had just seen a taxpayer-funded facelift a few months before. Residents expect their hard-earned money to pay for crucial children’s services, not to be squandered like this. The trust really should’ve known better.”

Read more here


January 08, 2016

U-turn fury as PM David Cameron goes sweet on a sugar tax - The Sun

TaxPayers’ Alliance boss Jonathan Isaby said: “Rather than capitulate to the self-appointed High Priests of the Nanny State in the public health lobby, the Government should encourage personal responsibility.”

Read more here


January 07, 2016

Don't tax sugar - The Times

In response to the front page of The Times “Taxing Sugar (£)” from January 6th 2016 our Director, Jonathan Isaby, wrote to The Times to correct the article.

Sir, Your leading article (“Taxing Sugar,” Jan 6) overlooks several important points.

Firstly, the tax would be regressive, hitting the poorest hardest.

Secondly, international evidence does not support a sugar tax: studies in the United States have shown that it did little to reduce fizzy drink consumption, with people switching to other high calorie drinks; and Denmark abolished a similar ‘fat tax’ after 15 months because it simply didn’t work.

Thirdly, statistics from public health campaigners are wildly misleading: the proportion of children overweight or obese peaked over a decade ago and has been slowly falling since; and average sugar consumption is falling.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, whatever happened to personal responsibility? We must stop seeking to slap taxes on the poorest and let education and awareness programmes bed in.

Read more here


January 07, 2016

North Wales Police called 57 times over paranormal fears - BBC News

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said it was important for people not to call the police on matters unless they were serious.

"Not only do we waste our own tax money, but we also take precious resources away from the very serious work of fighting real crime. The police force needs to exercise common sense when deciding which calls to take seriously because, for example, of mental health issues, but we as taxpayers need to be more responsible too."

Read more here


January 06, 2016

Sedgemoor council chief Kerry Rickards takes on second council job topping his pay up to £132,000 - Western Daily Press

Harry Davis, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "When times are tough and councils are finding necessary savings to continue providing basic services, this sky high salary will certainly raise eyebrows.

"Residents will rightly ask whether the original deal was too generous if he can now comfortably accommodate his new role.

"Taxpayers deserve real value for money from public servants who are taking home a wage on par with the Prime Minister."

Read more here


January 06, 2016

Council praised for opening the books on its spending - Barnet and Whetstone Press

Dia Chakravarty, political director of The TaxPayers’ Alliance, a pressure group which campaigns for greater government transparency, said the records were "one of the more comprehensive accounts" she had seen.
She said: "It’s great that the council is making an effort to be more transparent."

Read more here


January 06, 2016

Council boss receives pay rise despite possible new charges for services - Watford Observer

Three Rivers District Council's chief executive, Steven Halls, will be paid £120,953 after politicians approved a rise of almost £2,400 in December.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It always baffles taxpayers when councils plead poverty and slap extra charges on services with one hand, but then award pay rises to their bosses with the other.

“Residents pay their taxes to fund essential front-line services, not to line the pockets of already well-paid public sector executives. A struggling council should always aim to cut out wasteful spending before asking residents to dig deeper into its pockets."

Read more here


January 06, 2016

Scottish teachers’ union accused of ‘compensation culture’ - Daily Express

Dia Chakravarty of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said councils were either failing to provide a legal standard of care or gave in to compensation claims "too easily".

She added: "Neither situation reflects well on the bodies concerned while taxpayers are left out of pocket. Sadly, there is a growing compensation culture which wasted money that could be better spent on teaching materials and improving standards."

Read more here


January 05, 2016

‘Cash strapped’ council who denied war veteran in-home care finds £30K to pay silver polisher - BT News

Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, criticised the spending as a "huge waste" of funds.

"What a huge waste of taxpayers' money. Residents will be rightly furious to find out that they are paying for the mayor's personal driver and dresser just as council tax could be raised. In tough economic times councils should be tightening their belts, just as families are having to, not splurging on unnecessary jobs."

Read more here


January 05, 2016

Dentist guilty of defrauding NHS - AOL Money

A study by the Taxpayers' Alliance last year found that in addition to income from private work, five dentists were paid more than £500,000 in 2012-13, another 11 earned between £400,000 and £499,999, 30 received between £300,000 and £399,999, 131 between £200,000 and £299,999, and 1,617 were paid between £100,000 and £199,999.

Read more here


January 03, 2016

Revealed: Britain's privately-funded police force - The Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said:

"Residents will wonder whether these additional costs mean they are paying twice for police officers to operate in their local community. However, if these payments allow forces to make savings then they should be more open about them so that taxpayers can decide for themselves whether they are getting value for their hard-earned money.

“When discussions over policing budgets are being had it is important to remember this significant additional revenue stream, that puts pressure on centrally allocated grants into a little more context."

Read more here


January 02, 2016

£500k spent on public staff who were not at work in Derbyshire - Burton Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Taxpayers will be shocked that so much was spent on staff being paid, often for months on end, whilst they were suspended and waiting for a decision about their future."

Read more here


January 01, 2016

Thousands of taxpayers' money spent on sandwiches for Bristol's councillors - Bristol Post

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the group, said:

"Many councils have now scrapped this kind of spending on perks so Bristol City Council should take a leaf out of their book.

"At the very least they should make sure they cut back on these bills and save taxpayers' money."

Read more here


January 01, 2016

The huge compensation bill for accident-prone police officers who injure themselves in their offices... including £16,000 for the PC who fell over a plug - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

'This is a big bill for taxpayers and when forces are paying out too much in compensation, it means they are under pressure from frivolous claims or simply not providing the care or service expected.

'It's crucial that police chiefs put the right processes in place to deliver good services on the one hand and to protect taxpayers from the growing compensation culture on the other.'

Read more here


January 01, 2016

BBC fork out ‘thousands’ for over 2,000 cabs it never used - The Sun

Chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Licence fee payers will be shocked at the vast numbers of cancelled bookings they’ve had to fork out for. People expect their money to go towards making quality programmes — not wasted on empty hotel rooms.

“BBC staff need to remember that the licence fee places a significant burden on families and they should plan trips better in order to cut out such waste.”

Read more here


December 31, 2015

£24,000 of public money used to send Cardiff circus to New York - South Wales Evening Post

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"We keep hearing that there is no more room for savings and that services are under threat, but yet again this is shown to be a nonsense.

"In these straitened times, it's crucial that every single penny of taxpayers' money goers towards essential services that people rely on every day.

"It's fantastic that the group will get to perform in New York but much more must be done to seek private funding for such ventures to ease the burden on hard-pressed taxpayers."

Read more here


December 30, 2015

UK national archives: release of thousands of papers delayed - The FT

The annual release of government papers is considerably lighter than usual after the Cabinet Office delayed the release of thousands of documents detailing Margaret Thatcher’s most controversial period in Number 10.

The decision to change the process by which historical Cabinet papers are released has raised questions, as two senior ministers — Oliver Letwin and John Whittingdale — were both advisers to Thatcher’s government during the period in question. The government has denied that either was involved in the decision to withhold some papers.

(£)Read more here


December 30, 2015

National Archives: from precious Downing Street moondust, to Douglas Hurd's secret hangover walk - The Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers Alliance, said:

"Being committed to transparent government must involve making information easier to access for the public. Some of the steps the government have taken to increase transparency are welcome, but they must not change the rules around publication in such a way that makes it easier to bury bad news."

Read more here


December 29, 2015

£55,000 – the cost to taxpayers of a new name for Historic Scotland - The National

Eben Wilson from Taxpayers’ Alliance Scotland said it was typical example of “defocusing”, where senior members of an organisation spend time worrying about the “colour of a logo” rather than running the business.

Wilson said: “Shuffling a brand identity within government always seems to cost a fortune. You have to wonder if any of our taxes were worth spending on this exercise.

“These costs, no doubt, do not reflect the enormous amount of management and meeting costs that were incurred in making the changes. That’s what always worries me.”

Read more here


December 27, 2015

Door knobs and dimwits! Civil servants are issued safety instructions on how to use a DOOR - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

'This is patronising rubbish of the highest order and proof that there remains plenty of fat to trim at Whitehall departments.

'Families facing huge bills because of green taxes this department is responsible for will be appalled to see their money wasted like this.
'Perhaps it's those responsible for producing this 'advice' who should be shown how to use the door.'

Read more here


December 27, 2015

Council tax soars by 58 per cent as UK councils prepare for more tax hikes following slashed grants in George Osborne's Autumn Statement - City AM

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has analysed how council tax bills have changed since 1996, when the average bill came to £646. Today, that figure is £1,484, an increase of 58 per cent in real terms. Unsurprisingly, the tax sceptical organisation is unimpressed with the change.

Read more here


December 27, 2015

Council tax bills up 58% in 20 years - Politics Home

A study by the Taxpayers’ Alliance shows that the average bill for a band D home in 1996 was £646. The equivalent bill today stands at £1,484.

Read more here


December 24, 2015

Council penpushers buy sex shop lingerie, Premier League tickets, McDonald's and teddy bears with taxpayer-funded credit cards as part of £34 million spree - Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

'Councils up and down the country are pleading poverty and saying there is no more room for savings but this goes to show that there is plenty of fat left to trim. It's downright disgraceful.

'Where money seems to be have been spent on frivolous items councils should investigate to discover exactly how this was allowed to happen.'

Read more here


December 22, 2015

Hundreds of civil service mandarins paid MORE THAN Prime Minister's £150,000 - The Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "It's good to see the government is opening the books on top pay in the public sector, but it does serve as a timely reminder of the huge taxpayer-funded salaries going to those heading up quangos.

"It's absolutely vital that the public sector top brass are held to account by elected politicians so that we can put an end to the culture of rewards-for-failure, which has been all too prevalent in the public sector."

Read more here


December 18, 2015

Tom Watson hits out at PM 'governing from the shadows' over FOI - The York Press

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Moves to dilute Freedom of Information are misguided and dangerous, so it's welcome news that Tom Watson is keen to protect it.

"It is every citizen's right to know how their money is spent and how decisions are taken in their name, so the Government should immediately drop its plans to weaken the Act.

"Power should be in the hands of taxpayers, not the politicians and bureaucrats who spend their money."

Read more here


December 17, 2015

Student loan debt to hit £1trillion - and £4billion may be lost forever - The Mirror

Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “It’s crucial the Student Loans Company gets a grip on its processes and universities do more to ensure that students are serious about study as opposed to picking up cheap loans which they don’t intend to pay back.”

Read more


December 17, 2015

Ministers reveal use of controversial blind trust schemes in long-awaited transparency data - The Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, the chief executive of Taxpayers' Alliance said: "Taxpayers deserve full and proper transparency so that they can make their own minds up on whether their politicians are acting in the nation's interest rather than their own."

Read more here


December 17, 2015

Quangocrats on over £150,000 a year surge by a third in less than three years - The Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “It’s good to see the Government is opening the books on top pay in the public sector, but it does serve as a timely reminder of the huge taxpayer-funded salaries going to those heading up quangos.

“Taxpayers will also be shocked to see the number of people on these deals is increasing, at a time when there is enormous pressure on budgets and services.

“It’s absolutely vital that the top brass are held to account by elected politicians so that we can put an end to the culture of rewards-for-failure, which has been all too prevalent in the public sector.”

Read more here


December 17, 2015

More than 300 mandarins take home more than the PM five years after David Cameron promised to cut the cost of politics - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: ‘It's good to see the government is opening the books on top pay in the public sector, but it does serve as a timely reminder of the huge taxpayer-funded salaries going to those heading up quangos.

‘Taxpayers will also be shocked to see the deals going towards those heading up new organisations in the NHS, at a time when there is enormous pressure on budgets and services.

‘It's absolutely vital that the public sector top brass are held to account by elected politicians so that we can put an end to the culture of rewards-for-failure, which has been all too prevalent in the public sector.’

Read more here


December 16, 2015

Around the world in three years: Surrey County Council officials globetrot on taxpayers' dime - Your Local Guardian

The TaxPayers’ Alliance slammed the council, calling on councillors to tighten their belts amid central Government cuts.

Political director Dia Chakravarty said: "Some trips abroad may be necessary but it seems like the council could have saved taxpayers' money on some of these flights.

"Budgets are under pressure and local politicians must ensure that every pound of taxpayers' money is focused on providing essential service to local residents."

Read more here


December 14, 2015

Nice work if you can get it: Invisible army of 651 civil servants are being paid despite having no jobs to do 'costing taxpayers £20m a year' - Daily Mail

A 651 strong 'invisible army' of civil servants have seen their posts cut, but remain on the government payroll with nothing to do.

The staff are all in redeployment pools according to The Sun, but if they were earning the average salary for their departments this year's bill could be as much as £20 million.

TaxPayers' Alliance spokesman Jonathan Isaby said: 'If there is no work to do then they shouldn't be kept on.'

Read more here


December 14, 2015

Spoty: Belfast ratepayers spend £240k for just one mention of city in BBC Sports awards - Belfast Telegraph

"Taxpayers in Belfast will find it hard to shake the suspicion that this is anything more than a taxpayer-funded bung to the BBC," said Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers' Alliance.

He added: "This is a ludicrous waste and it's hard to see just what benefits taxpayers will get for the money they are handing over. Budgets are tight, so now more than ever public sector bodies should be looking to make savings, not splashing cash on vanity projects."

Read more here


December 10, 2015

Former Kingston Council chief executive Bruce McDonald to get more than £250,000 payout for "resigning" - Kingston Guardian

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, who lives in Kingston, said: "This is an extraordinary sum of taxpayers' money for yet another bloated public sector golden goodbye.

"On top of massive salaries, the top brass at local authorities can expect to see redundancy or resignation packages that are far more generous than many workers in the private sector can ever expect to receive.

"Taxpayers don't want to see their hard-earned cash funding executive pay-offs at a time when they are seeing their essential services come under threat.”

Read more here


December 09, 2015

West Midlands Police in £1m compensation payouts to public - Express and Star

The TaxPayers' Alliance raised concerns over the 'huge amount of money' that was not 'going into front-line policing'.

Alex Wild, research director at the Alliance, said: "This is a huge amount of money that is not going into front-line policing at a time when savings have to be made.

"Of course mistakes will be made from time to time and those who have been wrongfully arrested or falsely imprisoned are entitled to compensation, but forces really must minimise their errors and ensure that any pay outs aren't excessive."

Read more here


December 09, 2015

Now town hall fat cats launch assault on your right to know - The Daily Mail

The attempt by town halls to neuter the FOI Act comes just a month after a joint investigation by the Daily Mail and TaxPayers' Alliance revealed the huge pay deals on offer to officials. We exposed how, at a time of supposed austerity, there are 537 council bureaucrats pocketing £150,000 a year.

Read more here


December 08, 2015

Daily Mail's Paul Dacre makes personal plea to save FoI and stop 'government by press release' - Press Gazette

“As each NHS Trust, police force and university is an independent body, we and the Taxpayers' Alliance had to make a total of 6,000 FoI requests to extract information that should have been freely available in annual reports and remuneration committee minutes…

Read more here


December 08, 2015

Freedom law curbs 'would take us back to Dark Ages' - The Daily Mail

Last month, the Mail and TaxPayers' Alliance used almost 6,000 FOI requests to expose the astonishing scale of pay and perks in the public sector. The revelations included a hospital boss earning £1.2million and a police chief on £700,000.

Read more here


December 07, 2015

Over £22m made from parking charges by Southampton and Hampshire Councils - Southern Daily Echo

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Small charges are sometimes necessary to manage our roads but Hampshire's motorists will suspect they are simply being used as cash cows for the council.

"There are already sky high taxes on fuel and for owning a car so councils must be careful that they don't heap even more misery onto hard-pressed taxpayers."

Read more here


December 07, 2015

Watchdog allowed MPs who break expenses rules to repay cash in secret - The Belfast Telegraph

"It's crucial that these cases are handled properly but taxpayers will expect transparency too, so that both MPs and Ipsa can be held to account.

"Ipsa must have processes in place to ensure that MPs are getting the appropriate support to enable them to do their job while maintaining public trust in the system. For that to happen, the authorities themselves must be open to public scrutiny."

Read more here


December 04, 2015

Foreign aid FARCE: Now 'wealthy' India sent £279MILLION a year of YOUR cash - Daily Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “British taxpayers will be staggered that their money is being used to support projects in a country that can well afford to look after its own citizens, especially since we have been told aid to India would be scaled back.

“What’s more, Indian politicians have said that they don’t want or need British aid so the decision to increase our contribution is even more frustrating.

“The Government must crack down on wasteful aid spending and ensure that every penny spent abroad goes to the people who most need it.”

Read more here


December 04, 2015

Alan Yentob quits one BBC job but keeps another £150,000 role and vast pension - The Daily Express

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Kids Company received nearly £50million of taxpayers' money with poor levels of financial oversight, so it's little wonder that Mr Yentob has decided it is proving to be a distraction to his job.

"The pensions of the public sector top brass are simply staggering and hard-pressed families will wonder why they must continue to pay for these deals when many have little chance of saving for a decent pension for themselves."

Read more here


December 03, 2015

A wizard idea or black magic? Villagers’ fury after bungling council pays £21,000 for garish 25ft Christmas tree that looks more like Mickey Mouse's sorcerer hat - Daily Mail

'Residents clearly don't like this tree so it's time for the council to stop spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money renting and storing this bizarre tree.

'Everyone likes a bit of Christmas cheer, but that doesn't mean the local politicians have a free rein to waste taxpayers' hard-earned cash.'

Read more here


December 02, 2015

Should the government rethink the bank surcharge? - Economia

Alex Wild, research director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance and Richard Murphy, economist and professor of practice in political economy at City University, London go head-to-head in this month’s debate

Read the full debate here


December 02, 2015

Wanted: Police advertise for VOLUNTEER detectives to help solve burglaries and wash their dirty squad cars in bid to save - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, supported the move and said more forces should be looking at ways like this to save money.

'If civic-minded people are willing to give up their time to help the police carry out their work then that's a good thing and it should be encouraged, so long as there is a line between volunteers and roles that require training or are dangerous.'

Read more here


December 01, 2015

Cambridgeshire Police recruits 'volunteer detectives' to help find stolen property - The Telegraph

However, Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, supported the move and said more forces should be looking at ways such as this to save money.

He said: "It's a bit of a stretch to say trawling websites and car boot sales is full-on detective work, so it's good news that the force is seeking help without costing taxpayers' more money."

Read more here


December 01, 2015

SodaStream has set up sugary statues near Westminster – but not everyone's impressed - City AM

Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers' Alliance told reporters on Monday that the sugar tax was a "deeply regressive" move that would hit the poorest hardest. "Politicians and the self-appointed High Priests of the Nanny State in the public health lobby should stop seeing tax hikes as a silver bullet, and instead encourage much more personal responsibility."

Read more here


December 01, 2015

Stamp duty was already a bad tax – the buy-to-let surcharge makes it even more stupid - City AM

Petty, shallow and stupid. That pretty much sums up the government’s new 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on additional properties, announced by the chancellor in the Autumn Statement last week. Beyond the naked appeal to the public’s envy of second home owners and buy-to-let landlords, there is almost nothing to recommend this measure on any sober analysis of how it will actually work.

Read more here


December 01, 2015

Police force spends £5 MILLION on business and first class flights amid budget crisis - The Daily Express

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Police have to fly as part of the job, but this is an eye-watering bill for business class flights.

"Taxpayers are being asked to pay for flights they could never afford for themselves, and many small business owners who travel for their work will wonder why those in the public sector aren't making the same choices as them.

"It's crucial that taxpayers get value for their hard-earned money and that the police look to make savings in the least painful way possible."

Read more here


November 30, 2015

Houston, we have a POTHOLE! Council in talks with a U.S. space technology firm to fly a SATELLITE over its roads looking out for damaged roads and traffic jams - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, also said the council should be careful not to 'simply buy into the latest fad'.

'The council must demonstrate that spending taxpayers' money on using new technology actually helps to bring down costs elsewhere and improve services, and are not simply buying in to the latest fad.


'It's important to embrace new ideas that can help improve efficiency, but it's equally important to only do so when it works.'
The council refused to confirm how much the proposed satellite plan would cost the taxpayer but confirmed it could be rolled out nationwide if successful.

Read more here


November 28, 2015

Class A drugs, CS gas and batons among items stolen from Metropolitan Police officers - The Evening Standard

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said he was "deeply concerned" that "potentially dangerous" equipment had been stolen.

He said: "Taxpayers will be scratching their heads as to how an authority, usually responsible for finding lost items, have managed to be so careless with their own kit.

"It's also deeply concerning to hear that potentially dangerous equipment like batons and CS gas have gone missing.

"The Met must make sure that it takes more care to prevent theft in the future and to punish those who are caught stealing, as it's taxpayers who lose out."

Read more here


November 26, 2015

Hit list: What’s under threat in the Lancaster district - Lancaster Guardian

“This is from a council whose Chief Executive earns £64,000 a year more than the Prime Minister, and has three additional officers who earn more than him, according to a report by the Taxpayers Alliance.

“The council also have a colossal almost half a billion in reserves. I think it is time for the council to get to grips with their budgets but not at the expense of my constituents.”

Read more here


November 25, 2015

Town council blows £4,000 on gold chains - BBC Look North


November 25, 2015

BBC Daily Politics: Jonathan Isaby on the Spending Review


November 25, 2015

Autumn Statement 2015: Local councils allowed to take home all receipts from property sales - CityAM

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Allowing councils to keep the revenue from asset sales should see more action taken by local authorities to rationalise their registers instead of hiking Council Tax. However, they shouldn't use this new policy to dodge tough spending decisions, as taxpayers want their local politicians to prioritise frontline services over non-essential items of spending."

Read more here


November 25, 2015

Chancellor George Osborne's housing measures risk making the situation worse - City AM

The chancellor’s solutions (especially with the London Help-to-Buy and the doubling of the housing budget to over £2bn) come at great expense to taxpayers but allowing green belt development and relaxing building height restrictions would achieve more without the need for spending.

Read more here


November 25, 2015

Autumn Statement 2015: What do free marketeers want from chancellor George Osborne and what do they think they'll get? - City AM

Forgetting the political theatre, just what do free marketeers want from this Budget?

Read more here


November 25, 2015

Saving grace for all if Chancellor cuts state further - Yorkshire Post

The Comprehensive Spending Review today offers the Chancellor a rare chance to completely reimagine the state’s role in the British people’s lives and it is one he should firmly grasp. In 2010, when George Osborne first had a chance to shape the public finances, the situation was very different to now. The previous year the deficit had been over £150bn, which is why he promised to “carry out Britain’s unavoidable deficit reduction plan” in order to secure economic stability.

Read more here


November 24, 2015

George Osborne is about to run into a heap of trouble - CapX

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has offered a list of cuts as part of its “Spending Plan”. It would abolish the Whitehall departments for Business, for Energy and Climate Change and for Culture – saving £7.5 billion. It would abolish the pensions ‘triple lock’ whereby pensions will rise by a budget-busting 2.9% this year, even though inflation is falling – saving £6.8 billion. It would cut Scotland’s grant by £4.4 billion. It would scrap national pay bargaining in the public sector to save £5.8 billion. These savings (and they have others) add up to £24.5 billion.

Read more here


November 23, 2015

Autumn Statement 2015: Scrap the spending cuts ringfence, say the Institute of Economic Affairs and Taxpayers' Alliance - City AM

The government's decision to ringfence certain areas of spending means this week’s Comprehensive Spending Review is likely to be “incoherent and incomprehensive”, a prominent Westminster think tank has said today.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) said that because 70 per cent of government spending is protected, or ringfenced, cuts risk being made in the wrong areas.

Meanwhile, the Taxpayers’ alliance, a lobby group, also criticised the ringfence and called for cuts to pension increases.

Read more here


November 20, 2015

Over 50 University staff Earn More than the PM - The Gryphon

It has been revealed that 127 University of Leeds employees receive remuneration in excess of £100,000, the greatest number in any Yorkshire educational institute. This information has been released following research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance as part of The Public Sector Rich List.

Read more here


November 18, 2015

Isn't it time for Parliament to scrap the use of vellum? - Jeremy Vine Show

TPA Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby debates James Gray MP and argues it is time for Parliament to modernise and move on from the use of vellum.

Listen here


November 18, 2015

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am

Andrew Bridgen: Does the Secretary of State agree that key to rebalancing the economy is getting a proper grip of the public finances? Does he share my shock and horror at the recent TaxPayers Alliance report that exposes the enormous amount of waste in the public sector in Wales?

Read more here


November 17, 2015

Council spends £16,000 on new robes and personalised number plate - The Irish News

"This vanity spending has no place while services are being squeezed and savings are having to be made. The council needs to cut out its spendthrift tendencies and put any spare cash towards delivering core services."

Read more here


November 13, 2015

Oxford, UCL and Imperial employees highest paid university staff in the UK - The Independent

In comparison to Prime Minister David Cameron’s salary - which sits at £142,000 - it emerged that there were 2,146 university employees who received remuneration greater than £150,000. Another 641 received remuneration greater than £200,000.

Read more here


November 12, 2015

Student fees going up. Courses slashed But don't worry, it's boom time for vice chancellors - The Daily Mail

The shameless greed of university fat cats is exposed today by the Mail.
Bosses at badly performing institutions are taking home up to £600,000 a year – four times the Prime Minister’s salary.
And while students face crippling fees, vice chancellors are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on business class flights.

Read more here


November 12, 2015

Freedom of information is a weapon against town hall waste - Yorkshire Post

We would be the first to agree that challenging circumstances require good people who are expensive to hire but the emphasis must be on not tolerating a situation where a failing council continues to fork out fortunes when little is being achieved.

The problem is that such a high level of transparency has only come about after a year’s hard work and 6,000 Freedom of Information requests.

Read more here


November 12, 2015

Over 7,500 university staff are paid more than £100,000 a year - The Tab

The highest paid university in Scotland is Glasgow, closely followed by Edinburgh.

St Andrews was way down the list with just 29 staff earning around £100,000 a year.

The highest earning Vice Chancellor – with a £623,000 payout – was Professor Neil Gorman, of Nottingham Trent, a uni ranked just 62nd in the league tables.

Read more here


November 11, 2015

Robbed by the greedy police: Chief constable given £55,000 to move house, pen-pusher is handed £170,000 for 19 days' work and the womanising police chief which cost taxpayers £1m to sack - The Daily Mail

Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers' Alliance said:

"The men and women working in these services do tough, dangerous jobs for which the public are grateful. But that only makes it even more infuriating when those at the top continue to get taxpayer-funded deals and payoffs that are completely out of step with reality. Necessary savings are being made and this reality must be reflected in the pay packages for the top brass."

Read more here


November 10, 2015

Fifty thousand NHS staff earn 'at least £100,000' - BBC News

More than 50,000 people in the NHS earned more than £100,000 in 2013-14, an investigation by the Taxpayers' Alliance and Daily Mail shows. The organisations used the Freedom of Information Act to get details on pay packages for everyone from managers and hospital doctors to dentists and GPs.

Researchers included bonuses, pension contributions and redundancy payments, as well as salaries, in the sums. The Taxpayers' Alliance said some of the figures were concerning.

Read more here


November 10, 2015

NHS boss made you pay for cancelled safari - The Daily Mail

The flagrant abuse of taxpayers’ funds by Health Service fat cats was unearthed in a major investigation by the Mail and the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Using freedom of information requests, we found health chiefs at hospitals in crisis have taken millions of pounds in pay rises in defiance of orders from Government.

Read more here


November 09, 2015

How much do bosses at YOUR council earn? - The Daily Mail

‘How have we got to this situation? Taxpayers will be aghast at the sheer scale of the pay and perks of those at the top of the public sector, and baffled as to how it has been allowed to balloon.

‘Who has been keeping check on all of this? For all of the politicians, regulators and remuneration panels, it seems that big pay deals and bonuses continue to be handed out almost irrespective of performance.’

Read more here


November 08, 2015

Nats’ £16k London limo link - The Daily Express

“Riding around in limos paid for by the taxes of those on the lowest incomes is shameful, and it's even worse when the politicians who do so spout platitudes about caring for the poor. The authorities must never sign off expense claims like this because they are an insult to the people who go out and work hard every single day, and then hand over their taxes to pay for public services."

Read more here


November 06, 2015

DWP Staff Pocketed Almost Half Of A £90million Bureaucrat 'Bonus Bonanza' Paid Out By The Government Last Year - The Huffington Post

"While it will be encouraging for taxpayers that the overall bill has come down, the increase in individual payouts will raise eyebrows.

“The most important thing though is to ensure that bonuses are paid out to staff who have performed exceptionally well, rather than handed out as a matter of course to top up pay.”

Read more here


November 05, 2015

'Freeloader' Bercow blasted for £10k taxpayer trip to Japan - The Sun

“John Bercow must explain why he splashed out on expensive business class flights and five star luxury instead of providing taxpayers with better value for money.”

Read more here


November 04, 2015

Big Debate: Would a sugar tax benefit the consumer? - Newham Recorder

Our Policy Analyst, Jennifer Salisbury Jones, argues that a sugar tax would be regressive and ineffective in the Newham Recorder

Not only would a sugar tax not work, it would hit the poorest hardest, adding to the already massive weight of taxation on the lowest paid.

The poorest 10 per cent of households already pay of 45 per cent of their income in tax and are hit particularly hard by regressive “sin taxes”.

Can there be any justification for ramping up taxes on this already disproportionately burdened group?

Read more here:


November 04, 2015

Jordan Taylor: Bailing out steel would be blow to principles of free trade - Yorkshire Post

Jordan Taylor wrote for the Yorkshire Post on why the government should not bail out the steel industry with taxpayers' money

Many on the left have claimed that steel is a “foundation industry” (whatever that means) and that it is somehow vital to the country, but the facts simply don’t support this. The industry accounts for less than 0.1 per cent of employment and unlike German plants which are often integrated into the car industry and produce specialised alloys, most of what is made in the UK is generic and low-grade.

Read more here:


October 27, 2015

Whatever chancellor George Osborne does next on tax credits he should set it out as clearly as possible - City AM

Writing for City AM, Jonathan Isaby said:

If we had the luxury of starting from first principles then politicians could have been truly ambitious and looked at the welfare system more fundamentally. Iain Duncan Smith has championed Universal Credit, which is indeed a far-ranging reform, but in 2010, the TaxPayers’ Alliance recommended an even bolder proposal with a form of Negative Income Tax, which would taper away at a constant rate as earnings increase. This week the Adam Smith Institute released a paper calling for a similar system.

Read more here.


October 26, 2015

Kirklees Council writes off £850,000 owed by developers for school places, road improvements and playgrounds - Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Taxpayers' Alliance chief executive, Jonathan Isaby said:

“It’s sad when companies go bust but the council should continue to try and recover money where possible.

“It may be the case that some money is irrecoverable and given pressures on budgets, the council will have to ensure it makes savings elsewhere.”

Read more here.


October 24, 2015

Cornwall's Traffic Wardens Could Be Privatised - Pirate FM

Speaking to Pirate FM about the potential privatisation of traffic wardens. Alex Wild said:

"It can be done very well, or it can be done very badly, there are plenty of incidences of taxpayers getting bad value for money, but also there are plenty or arrangements where it is done very well, but you don't tend to hear about those.

"Waste collection is very regularly outsourced, but people don't tend to notice when these things go well, but they have to very diligent in the way in which they arrange and negotiate these contracts with new providers, and ensure tax payers are getting a good deal."

Read more here.


October 22, 2015

Wolverhampton council spends £7m on external legal advice - Express and Star

There's no denying that legal costs in this country are eye-watering.

But taxpayers will want to know exactly what the justification of spending over £100,000 on an in-house legal officer is if the residents are then asked to pick up a several million pound bill for external legal advice.

The fact that the council seems to be prioritising these costs over basic frontline services will only add to the injury."

Read more here.


October 20, 2015

Uber paid no UK corporation tax in 2014 - Daily Mail

"We will keep reading about big companies like Uber paying a pittance in tax until politicians get a grip on our maddeningly complex tax code.

"The system for taxing companies was designed decades ago and is now totally unsuitable for the modern, digital economy. It is time for politicians to stop their pointless moralising and fundamentally reform the tax code so all companies can compete on a level playing field."

Read more here


October 19, 2015

David Hoey discusses Disability Living Allowance - BBC Radio Ulster Talkback

"In the past 5 years you've seen a 25% in the cost of DLA....simply saying 'it's the criteria; stuff happens' isn't really an adequate response from the [Disability and Carers Service] at this point. It's taxpayers money, they ought to know how it's being spent"

You can listen to the full segment here (08:20)


October 19, 2015

Should Osborne reconsider cutting tax credits? City AM

The welfare budget is bloated and should be subject to scrutiny as a whole. Tax credits shouldn’t be exempt from this, but they should not be the first to face the axe.

Read more here


October 19, 2015

One week after hated ‘bag-tax’ sales of less green-friendly bin liners double - Daily Express

"The plastic bag tax is a classic case of misguided and fiddly Government intervention that may not serve its intended purpose. 

"Sales of other, more resource intensive, bags such as bin liners seem to be increasing meaning that the environmental aims of this policy will go largely unfulfilled. 

"This new tax will make the weekly shop that bit more expensive for families on tight budgets, so to hear it might not achieve its goal will simply rub salt into the wound."

Read more here


October 16, 2015

Is the steel industry worth saving? - BBC 5 Live

John O'Connell discusses the issues surrounding the steel industry

Listen here


October 13, 2015

Debt-ridden hospital splashes out £1million a year for NHS boss to CUT COSTS - The Daily Express

“One has to ask if the hospital has got its priorities right. It is also absolutely crucial that a payment of that size is paid out with unquestionable transparency to ensure accountability of the process. The authorities should remember that taxpayers expect their money to go towards cancer drugs and nurses, not on sky-high pay packages.”

Read more here


October 13, 2015

Facebook isn’t breaking law, UK tax is to blame - The Sun

The hard truth is politicans are chasing their own tails because of  the decisions they have made when making tax law

Read more here (£)


October 13, 2015

Failing hospital pays boss £1m a year to cut costs - The Times (P1)

"The authorities should remember that taxpayers expect their money to go towards cancer drugs and nurses, not on sky-high pay packages.”

Read more here (£)


October 12, 2015

Facebook paid £4,327 corporation tax in 2014 - BBC Business

"Taxpayers will be justifiably confused and angry about this tax bill. But Facebook is right to say that it is complying with UK law, which shows that the problem lies with our complex tax code, and that is what politicians should address as a matter of urgency.


"We have to ensure our taxes are simple to eliminate loopholes, and that taxes are low to increase our competitiveness, so that companies choose to base themselves here."

Read more here


October 12, 2015

Facebook's £4327 tax bill triggers calls for more government action on corporate tax - Evening Standard

"This is yet another example of our ridiculously complicated tax code continuing to confuse and frustrate ordinary taxpayers. Our politicians can easily get rid of legal loopholes by drastically simplifying the tax code but they opt for political posturing instead."

Read more here


October 02, 2015

Why is the British taxpayer loaning Roman Abramovich £45million to help upgrade a steel plant in Canada? - The Daily Mail

'British taxpayers will be shocked to learn that they're subsidising cheap loans for companies controlled by billionaire oligarchs. If this company needs finance, it should come from commercial lenders not from hard-pressed families.

'Mr Abramovich should dip into his own deep pockets'.

Read more here


October 01, 2015

MPs claimed £4.3m in motoring expenses in past three years - Auto Express

“The publication of all travel claims plays an essential part in enabling constituents to scrutinise whether their MPs have proven to be good value for money. With the publication of these figures, MPs will be reminded just how expensive travelling has become for motorists.”

Read more here


September 30, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn's first speech as Labour leader was 'sixth-form socialism' - The Daily Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, head of the TaxPayers Alliance, questioned why Mr Corbyn failed to mention the deficit during his hour-long speech, said his arguments have "no place in the real world" and branded the policies put forward "sixth-form socialism of the most uninspiring kind".

Read more here


September 30, 2015

Why should we pay for our plastic bags? - The Daily Express

Anyone forgetful enough to go to the supermarket without their own bags from next Monday onwards faces being slapped with a charge of 5p per plastic carrier bag.

The Taxpayers' Alliance estimates that the new fee will add approximately £1.5billion to the cost of living for English families over the next decade - £67 per household.

Read more here


September 29, 2015

Eight radical taxes that have been floated - BBC Magazine

Supporters of a flat tax rate have said that it would encourage people to earn more because high earners would no longer be penalised. The TaxPayers' Alliance pressure group has also argued that it would be a simpler system that would be easier for most people to understand.

Read more here


September 28, 2015

Public foots the £5m bill for civil service staff's trade union work - Belfast Telegraph

"Trade unions are valuable contributors to our public debate and at their best can be a constructive force for better public services. However, taxpayers shouldn't be subsidising them."

Read more here


September 28, 2015

Pay for quango bosses is out of control - MoneyWeek

A lot of these hugely expensively managed bodies can hardly justify their existence, let alone such ludicrous paypackets for their chiefs. The number, scope and budget of quangos should be drastically reduced

Read more here


September 28, 2015

How much are trade unions costing taxpayers in NI? - The Nolan Show

Taxpayers are getting hit for a multi million pound bill to subsidise Trade Unions. Research shows trade union activity in the workplace costs the public 4.7 million pounds a year. Taxpayers are footing the bill for what's known as "facility time". It allows civil servants time off to carry out union business. But is that fair?

Listen here


September 24, 2015

Alex Wild speaks about Junior Doctor Contracts - Channel 4 News

Watch the whole segment here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8gJoWai1gI


September 24, 2015

Michelle Mone boasts of being chauffeured around in a Jaguar - The Daily Mail

Miss Mone – who was controversially handed a peerage last month – boasted on Twitter yesterday that she had the use of the chauffeur-driven car while she writes a report on small businesses for ministers.

Dia Chakravarty, political director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘If a politician needs a taxpayer-funded car, there are far cheaper options available.’

Read the full article here


September 24, 2015

Osborne own goal as he gives £3m aid for Chinese soccer - The Express

Chancellor George Osborne came under fire yesterday after pledging £3 million of taxpayers’ money to bankroll football coaching in China.

Dia Chakravarty, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"This will amaze taxpayers who are told that the Government is doing everything it can to control spiralling debt. Politicians like to tell us that we no longer give aid to countries like China but then they bankroll ludicrous schemes like this. Hard-pressed families will not be happy."

Read the full article here


September 24, 2015

First council in Britain starts monthly bin collections - The Telegraph

Starting yesterday, Fife council in Scotland will collect waste destined for landfill just 12 times a year as part of a trial in some parts of the district.

“Residents pay their taxes to fund basic essential services and bin collection is about as basic as it gets.When trying to identify necessary savings, councils must do everything in their power to make sure every bit of waste is cut out before they consider cutting these services.”

Read the full article here


July 14, 2015

Derbyshire fire chief Sean Frayne to get more than £200k despite not working - Derby Telegraph

This sorry saga has cost taxpayers an extraordinary amount at a time when we can't afford to waste a penny.

Read more here


July 14, 2015

Pay packets of highest paid stars are up by a fifth and the workforce hits 18,900 - but BBC bosses still insist they're saving money! - Daily Mail

It’s deeply concerning that, so far, the reality on paper simply doesn’t match the rhetoric from those at the top. The ever-increasing pay bill for top executives, along with the huge golden goodbyes dished out to senior staff, will rightly infuriate licence fee payers. It’s crazy that there are more than 70 people at the Corporation earning more than the Prime Minister and it’s important we get to the bottom of how salaries have spiralled to such a degree.

Read the full article here


January 30, 2015

Shocking £500k pay-outs to Derbyshire public servants on gardening leave - Derby Telegraph

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Taxpayers will be shocked that so much was spent on staff being paid, often for months on end, whilst they were suspended and waiting for a decision about their future."

Read more here