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.
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.”