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Tuesday 20 December 2011

Politics.co.uk: TaxPayers’ Alliance: Is HMRC fit for purpose?

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, comments on the public accounts committee (PAC) report into corporate tax avoidance:

“This report again calls into question whether HMRC is fit for purpose. Ordinary taxpayers often feel that they are treated harshly when they make genuine mistakes because of our complicated tax system; the PAC findings will increase suspicions that big businesses are treated differently.

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Oxford Mail: BT Customers face price hike to use new police hotline

Robert Oxley of the Tax Payers’ Alliance said: “Thames Valley Police need to be clear about how much calls will cost in non-emergencies and there is a danger that BT customers will not realise that they will now pay more on average.

“The force should have looked carefully at all the information before making this change, it seems they had good intentions but didn’t do their homework.

“It is good to hear that this new number will save some people money but with so many homes still relying on a BT landline, TVP cannot ignore the fact they this will cost them more and should look again at this decision.”

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Zimbio: Pensioners in sun spots including Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, Greece and Gibraltar receive £13.4million a year to help with the cost of heating, compared with £6.9million in 2006

Robert Oxley, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘This is an incredible amount of money to be exporting in benefits to the Costa del Sol. It was meant for pensioners struggling with the freezing temperatures back home, not expats enjoying life in the sun.’

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Mail Online: Big firms let off £25billion in taxes: As families are chased for every penny, corporate giants dodge their massive bills

Emma Boon of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘Ordinary taxpayers often feel that they are treated harshly when they make genuine mistakes because of our complicated tax system.

‘This report will increase suspicions that big businesses are treated differently.’

Newtonabbey Times: Council spending is questioned in audit

The TPA has said Newtownabbey Council, along with Northern Ireland’s 25 other local authorities, is still spending more on mileage payments than is recommended by the government, six months on from when the matter was first highlighted by the public spending watchdog.

Each council, it found, was spending 65p a mile for casual use when HM Revenue & Customs has recommended paying staff 45p per mile.

Rosie Greer, TPA Northern Ireland coordinator, said: “Is it deplorable that councils continue to pay these extravagant mileage rates, whilst at the same time complaining that their finances are squeezed?

“Paying staff 45p per mile is fair, and is in line with the HMRC recommended rate. The money saved should be used for frontline services – not spent lining the pockets of council staff.”

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Bury Free Press: Police authority bosses’ salaries above average

SUFFOLK and Norfolk Police Authorities pay their chief executives above the national average for the job.

Figures released on Wednesday by the Taxpayers’ Alliance says that in 2009/10 the Suffolk authority’s chief executive Chris Jackson was paid £9,000 above average, at £99,000.

The alliance claims Norfolk authority’s chief executive Chris Harding received £123,762. But the authority’s accounts say he was paid £122,421 – still the third highest after his equivalents on the Metropolitan and Cleveland authorities.

With pension payments their remuneration is 12 per cent of each authority’s budget.

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