Nick Clegg branded ‘Pinhead of the Month’ by TPA as Labour MP claims Pin-Up gong
Aug 2012 31

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg awarded Pinhead of the Month award for emergency wealth tax plan

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy is Pin-Up of the Month after call for a reassessment of public spending

Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance announces August’s recipients of its monthly awards to celebrate those politicians who have done the right – and wrong – thing by the taxpayer.

The man, woman or organisation to be congratulated for saving public money or acting in the interests of the hard-pressed taxpayer is named the TPA’s “Pin-Up of the Month”, whilst whoever is found to have shown the greatest disregard for taxpayers’ cash or their interests is shamed as the TPA’s “Pinhead of the Month”.

August 2012’s Pin-Up of the Month is Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow. She gets the gong for comments she made in a Guardian interview earlier in the month in which she outlined the need for politicians to look at the mounting government debt and ageing population and reassess every single item of departmental public spending.

She said:

  • “Everything should be on the table” in the next spending review
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility should be given more power
  • The perils of public debt must not be ignored
  • Money can be saved if people are involved in reconfiguring services
  • There should be more power devolved not only to a local level but to the users of individual services

The interview was published in the immediate aftermath of the Olympics and may have been missed, so the TaxPayers’ Alliance is keen to ensure that this welcome intervention is given the recognition it deserves.

Meanwhile, the TPA’s Pinhead of the Month for August is the Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat Leader, Nick Clegg.

His comments this week calling for an emergency wealth tax suggest a severe failure to understand the fact that the UK’s current economic problems stem from the Government spending too much, not taxing too little.


Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented:

“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who are seeking to do the right thing by taxpayers.

“Many may have missed reading Stella Creasy’s remarks when the country was basking in a post-Olympics glow, so this is an opportune moment to highlight a mature and welcome intervention in the ongoing debate about public spending. It is always reassuring to know that there are politicians out there willing to articulate their fears and concerns about rising government debt, so it is refreshing that Stella Creasy has done so in such stark terms.

“She is completely right to highlight the financial problems being stored up for the future thanks to an ageing population and to argue that whenever taxpayers’ money is wasted, it is the poorest who suffer the most. She is a worthy Pin-Up of the Month.”

“Nick Clegg, meanwhile, made a late claim for the Pinhead for the Month gong with his call for an emergency wealth tax earlier this week. The notion that now is the time to adopt an idea even rejected as a dead duck when Denis Healey proposed it in the 1970s is preposterous.

“Most countries which have tried introducing wealth taxes have quickly got rid of them, realising that they are very expensive to administer and raise little or no revenue. It would be far better if Mr Clegg were to spend his time arguing for wholesale reform and simplification of the existing complicated tax system, not least by ending the countless loopholes which the Government happily allows to remain in place, meaning that not everyone is paying their fair share.

“The Deputy Prime Minister also used his interview to indicate that David Laws would soon be returning to the Government. Mr Clegg would do well to listen to his colleague from Yeovil, who was the TPA Pin-Up of the Month in June in recognition of his call for lower tax rates, tax reform and lower public spending.”

Britain's independent grassroots campaign for lower taxes

  • SadButMadLad

    Don’t put Stella Creasy on too high a pedestal. She’s isn’t that numerically intelligent. She thinks that Wonga’s APR (ANNAUAL percentage rate) of 4000 odd percent is extortionate and wants to ban Wonga from operating. She doesn’t realise that APRs are for mortgages and long term loans and not 30 day loans. The actual interest rate is 360% which still sounds high but short term loans will always have higher rates than long term loans. But 360% is no where near 4000%

  • Ms Brown

    That’s hardly fair. Cameron and Milliband are just as qualified for the title.

  • Foolsgold Gordo

    You sure Stella Creasy is a labour MP. She wouldn’t last long with gordo or it would seem, the new gordo, Nick Clegg! Keep on spending, we’ve already proved there isn’t enough money, the only way is to stop the spending.