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Thursday 19 January 2012

Wigan Obsever: Rising costs of funerals

The increases have come under fire from campaign group, the Taxpayers Alliance. Chief executive Matthew Elliot said: “It’s outrageous that even after you’ve died, councils are determined to reach into your pocket for even more of your money.

“Local authorities need to stop finding excuses to increase charges in a shameless attempt to raise revenue. They should focus on making real, lasting savings. Taxpayers already pay enough taxes over the course of their lives, they don’t need any more in death.”

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Mail Online: Matthew Elliott’s blog – Cameron has talked about ‘moral capitalism’ but now he needs to act

David Cameron has given a major speech on the economy and set out his vision for ‘moral capitalism’ today. He has argued we need to see greater transparency in business and encourage a more ethical approach in the City. It’s a smart attempt try and seize the moral high ground but he will not succeed unless he addresses one crucial case where it is the Government’s direct responsibility to take action: bonuses at the nationalised banks.

Mail Online: Chief executive of bailed-out bank RBS set to receive bonus of £1.5m despite PM’s pledge to crackdown on City fat cats

Emma Boon, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘Lloyds boss António Horta-Osório has done the right thing and said he will not take a bonus this year, Hester should follow his lead.

‘While RBS is still government-owned, and off the back of a significant drop in its value, it would be inappropriate for him to accept an excessive bonus.

‘The bank probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for taxpayers bailing it out and David Cameron should act on taxpayers’ behalf and step in and block this payment.’

Mail Online: Matthew Elliot’s Blog – Lib Dem hypocrisy on Freedom of Information

The Liberal Democrats are supposed to believe in Freedom of Information but, as with many policy areas, their actions tell a different story to their words.

I was heartened when Nick Clegg recently announced plans to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, because it is such a useful tool to make sure taxpayers know how their money is spent and what the public sector workers they pay for get up to.

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This is Leicestershire: Increase in teachers on £50k

The figures were highlighted this week by the pressure group the Taxpayers Alliance.

Research director John O’Connell said: “This is taxpayers’ money so we would always urge caution when it comes to increasing salaries or the number of well-paid positions.”

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eGovmonitor: Case for HS2 is based on ignorance and lies

Announcement day saw no end of vested interest spokesman saying how great HS2 will be for the economy, but independent analysis paints a rather different picture. “There is no economic case for HS2” said the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Adam Smith Institute came up with “The disaster that is HS2”, “Utterly Indefencible” was the view of the TaxPayers Alliance and Lord Digby Jones stated that HS2 “Would not benefit the economy as claimed.” Whilst the bill for HS2 to the north is still touted as £32bn, these are 2009 prices and do not include inflation, interest on loans, compensation, farm or foot bridges, environmental protection and of course trains.

Click here to read the full story

This is Staffordshire: Council tax rise set to be reduced…by 0.01%

Robert Oxley, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “The hollow gesture of reducing a planned council tax rise by 0.01 per cent is nearly as insulting to residents as the original rise.”

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Belfast Newsletter: Massive teacher payoffs ‘shocking’

TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign director Emma Boon said: “Long term savings have to be made, and that might mean some job losses, but it’s shocking that teachers are to be offered this enormously generous severance package.

“At a time when there is a public sector pay freeze and very necessary restraint in public spending, it beggars belief that such a deal is being handed to some educators.

“It is unfortunate that some staff will have to go as part of plans to save money, but that shouldn’t mean taxpayers have to watch teachers walk away with a mammoth pay off to avoid compulsory redundancies for others.”

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This is Derbyshire: Middle managers at city council costing taxpayers nearly £77 a head to employ

THE cost per Derby taxpayer of employing council middle managers is among the highest in the Midlands.

Figures compiled by campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance show the cost of hiring the 288 staff at Derby City Council who were paid more than £50,000 last year was nearly £77 per taxpayer.

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Daily Express: Doctors strike in row over pensions

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Doctors do an important and sometimes difficult task. It is right that they are rewarded for that.

“However, it would be a gross overreaction for them to threaten strike action in the face of mod­erate and necessary reforms.

“It’s wrong to expect ordinary taxpayers to subsidise pension deals for some of the best-paid members in the public sector that they themselves couldn’t dream of affording.”

Click here to read the full story

Mail Online: £2m a month! Ken Clarke’s justice department blows more than £40m on private consultants since election

Jonathan Isaby, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Sometimes it can be useful to spend money on external expertise, but taxpayers will be alarmed that the Ministry of Justice blew nearly £30million of their cash on consultants during the first year of the Coalition Government.

‘It is reassuring to see that the amount being spent on consultants in the department has now begun to fall, but these figures are a timely reminder to ministers that they must always be looking to secure the best deal for taxpayers whenever spending decisions are made.’

Politics UK: Q&A session with Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers Alliance

We would like to welcome Matthew Elliott from the Taxpayers Alliance. Good evening Matthew. The Q&A is now in session

Click here to read the full interview

Daily Star: IMF cash call fury

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “While hard-pressed families struggle at home they will wonder why they are cutting back only to see more of their cash sent overseas, particularly with the European Union budget rising as well.”

Click here to read the full story

Bromsgrove Standard: Sharing services saves half a million

BROMSGROVE District and Redditch Borough Councils have saved £522,000 between them in the last year by cutting the number of senior managers they employ.

The figures were released on Wednesday (January 18) as part of the latest research by The Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Daily Express: Euro crisis to cost UK £28bn more

Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “The Government shouldn’t use increased IMF contributions to bail out [the] eurozone by the back door after promising taxpayers wouldn’t pick up the bill for a currency they refused to join.”

Ministers insist the cash would support “countries and not currencies”.

Click here to read the full story


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