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Wednesday 7 December 2011

The Commentator: Do we have a digital apartheid? Sure, but it’s nothing to do with government action, by Dominique Lazanski

Housing Minister, Grant Shapps yesterday pledged to end ‘digital apartheid’. He said that many social tenants in England can’t get online or haven’t ever been online. He is right, many people haven’t ever been online in this country, but it is not because of government inaction.

In reality, the government has been getting in the way of people getting online. Let’s look at how.

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Daily Express: Britain faces EU fines for benefits ban on migrants

Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It should be up to the British Government to decide who can claim which benefits. We simply can’t afford a complete free-for-all, especially not with an ageing population.

“It is time voters were given a choice about what our relationship with the EU should be.”

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The Sun: £26m TV for MEPs slammed as waste; exclusive

TaxPayers’ Alliance director Matthew Sinclair said: “Taxpayers will be furious. It’s a ridiculous amount of money to spend.

“People will be furious that EU bureaucrats are demanding ever more money at the same time as wasting it indulging their vanity with a TV channel. This is an expensive joke.”

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DeadlineNews.co.uk: Students caused £600,000 worth of damage to universities, figures show

Robert Oxley, Campaign Manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Students causing mayhem in their halls should cover the costs themselves of any damage they inflict on university accommodation.

He added: “Taxpayers expect the higher education budget to be spent on academic results, not fixing the furniture broken by drunken students.”

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Daily Star: Europe grabs UK dole dosh

Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s yet another example of Brussels meddling in British affairs.”

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Dan Hannan’s Blog: If we’re not pressing for a repatriation of power, what was all the Eurosceptic rhetoric for?

The Conservative manifesto promised the repeal of burdensome EU social and employment rules. William Hague said, on dropping the Lisbon referendum commitment, that he ‘wouldn’t let matters rest there’.  Ministers have asked the Open Europe group of MPs to draw up a list of policies that could be repatriated. (If that’s not ready on time, don’t worry: the TaxPayers’ Alliance have already drafted one). David Cameron spoke just three weeks ago about the ‘network Europe’ that ‘we Eurosceptics’ wanted to build. Alright, then, gentlemen: if not now, when?

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BBC Radio Leeds: Jonathan Isaby discussed plans by Kirklees Council to switch off street lights during the night.

The Business Desk.com: RDA HQ raises taxpayer concerns

YORKSHIRE Forward’s headquarters are set to be sold in a deal that values the premises at half the amount the regional development agency paid for them, TheBusinessDesk.com understands.

The potential deal was today criticised by the TaxPayers’ Alliance which questioned the rush to sell the asset.

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BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire: Jonathan Isaby discussed Warwickshire Police Authority’s sale of former police buildings

Southern Daily Echo: Tax campaigners slam Rose Bowl bail out plans

LOW-tax campaigners have criticised controversial moves to use millions of pounds of public money to bail out the Rose Bowl.

[...]

Last night, Robert Oxley, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “There’s absolutely no way that taxpayers should be stumping up the cash to bail out a cricket stadium.

“By buying the Rose Bowl the council is getting itself into the business of managing an international sports ground – they shouldn’t spend time and risk taxpayers’ money pretending they know how to.”

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This is Lincolnshire: Trust blasted over £420k in car parking fees at Boston Pilgrim Hospital

The news brought criticism from the Taxpayers’ Alliance whose campaign manager Robert Oxley said: “The Pilgrim’s car park appears to be raking it in, NHS parking charges shouldn’t be used as a revenue raiser.

“Taxpayers have already paid for the car park’s construction, they shouldn’t have to fork out when they’re ill or visiting a loved one.

“The NHS wouldn’t need to charge patients and visitors so much to park their cars if they weren’t wasting huge amounts of cash on wasteful spending.”

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Blackpool Gazette: Public price of unions – £100k

MORE than £100,000 of public cash is spent on funding union activity at Blackpool Council each year, according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

The sum of £112,769 is equivalent to four full-time employees working all year on union activity and relates to the amount of time union reps take from their employment to carry out union activity.

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The Spectator: Disappointment in Durban, by TPA Director Matthew Sinclair

Will Durban break the cycle of climate change meetings that repeatedly disappoint those hoping to replace Kyoto with an upgraded model? With so much else on, most people seem to be ignoring the latest summit entirely. Scanning the major newspaper websites, only the Guardian and the Independent mention “Durban” on their homepages.

First Copenhagen failed to live up to the massive hype. Then Cancun continued the stalemate on the big picture and negotiators contented themselves with addressing some relatively minor points. But Kyoto’s commitment period ends at the end of 2012, so those hoping for new mandatory targets can’t content themselves with stalling forever.

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MSN News UK: Pickles attacks ‘non-jobs on rates’

The Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) campaign group has estimated the cost of the activities to be £113 million a year.

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International Business Times UK: European Parliament’s TV Channel with 830 viewers costs £26million

“Taxpayers will be furious. It’s a ridiculous amount of money to spend. People will be furious that EU bureaucrats are demanding ever more money at the same time as wasting it indulging their vanity with a TV channel. This is an expensive joke,” TaxPayers’ Alliance director Matthew Sinclair said.

Click here to read the full story

Here is the City: Soaring cost of security guards could bust London 2012 Olympic Games

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers might enjoy watching the opening party for the Olympics but they won’t want to wake up to the hangover of another £40m on the bill. When London originally bid for the Games it was on the basis of a far smaller budget, and when resources weren’t nearly as scarce. Some costs like security are now unavoidable. But the government should be doing all they can to keep the cost down and need to control the budget more carefully.”

Click here to read the full story

Mail Online: London 2012: The £7m an hour Olympics

The TaxPayers’ Alliance pressure group criticised the decision to put more public money towards the ceremonies. Director Matthew Sinclair said: ‘Taxpayers might enjoy watching the opening party for the Olympics but they won’t want to wake up to the hangover of another £40million on the bill.’

Mail Online: Foreign aid: Chris Huhne’s £1bn to help poor countries ‘cope with climate change’

Robert Oxley of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘The Government should be freezing international aid, not increasing it.

‘Rather than throwing money away on corruption and programmes that deliver little of real substance, aid should be targeted at the world’s poorest who really need help.’

 

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