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Thursday 26 January 2012

Yorkshire Evening Post: Leeds’ £800 million benefits bill

A spokeswoman for the Taxpayers Alliance, which is calling for reform of the welfare system, said: “The increase in the cost of benefits exceeds what can be accounted for by inflation or rising unemployment. Welfare is there to help people who have fallen on tough times or who need our help, those who can work should be expected to do so not left to live on hand-outs indefinitely.”

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BBC News Online: 12 of 32 police in Wales kept jobs after breaking the law, figures show

Lee Canning, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance in Wales, said offences committed by officers needed to be looked at “case by case”.

“Driving offences are so easy to obtain. I’m not a driver myself but if you are one mile [per hour] over the speed limit, that can happen,” he said.

“When you come down to animal cruelty and personal data offences, these are serious instances.

“We do have to look at what sort of regulations are in place to protect the public against that.”

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Press Association: Councils pay £5bn in staff pensions

Local councils paid £5.175 billion in contributions to employees’ pensions last year, according to a new report.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) calculated that the contributions equate to £1 out of every £5 gathered in council tax.

[...]

The TPA found that numbers are rising, even though serving on a council has traditionally been regarded as a voluntary activity and not a job. In 2010/11, 4,548 councillors were enrolled on the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), an increase of more than 1,000 since 2007/08, when the figure stood at 3,527.

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This is Sussex: £1,100 for attending 1 meeting

Robert Oxley, campaign manager for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, has labelled the payment “over-generous”.

[...]

Mr Oxley said that such payments were over-the-top at a time when councils are making cuts and savings.

He added: “Allowances for chairing committees are meant to cover the extra costs incurred by a councillor taking on additional responsibilities.

“They shouldn’t be treated as an easy way to top up a local politician’s income.

“Councillors should look at cutting poorly administered allowances when there is little justification for their continued payment.”

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Daily Express: £20k on theatre for young offenders

Robert Oxley, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Despite the need for savings, too many councils are still being frivolous with taxpayers’ money.”

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Daily Express: Council pensions cost Scots £1.7m every day

The eye-watering figures were revealed by research from the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Director Matthew Sinclair said: “These gold-plated retirement deals have all but disappeared in the private sector and it simply isn’t sustainable to keep the system as it is. These figures show the urgent need to reform the Local Government Pension Scheme.”

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Wales Online: A quarter of your council tax goes towards pension contributions

The TaxPayers’ Alliance said the amounts were “unacceptable”.

It calculated that across the UK the contributions equate to £1 out of every £5 gathered in council tax. In Wales, the figure is closer to one in three.

Director Matthew Sinclair said: “It’s unacceptable that ordinary families and pensioners, who have seen council tax bills almost double in the last decade, have so much of their money spent on council pensions.

“These gold-plated retirement deals have all but disappeared in the private sector and it simply isn’t sustainable to keep the system as it is.

“These figures show the urgent need to reform the outdated Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and to tackle the growing trend of councillors joining.”

BBC Look North: Campaign Director Emma Boon discussed a luxury cruise trip by NHS workers

U105: TPA Research Director John O’Connell discussed our new report revealing that the equivalent of £1 in every £5 of council tax goes on council pension contributions.

Wave 104 TPA: Campaign Manager Robert Oxley discussed TPA research that revealed £1 in every £5 council tax is spent on council pensions

BBC Radio 4, PM: Matthew Sinclair discussed what the right rate of tax should be with a representative of the IPPR

BBC Radio Suffolk: Emma Boon talked about the benefits cap and said that it is right and necessary.

BBC Radio Scotland, Call Kaye: Matthew Sinclair discussed putting cameras in bus lanes to catch motorists wrongly using them

Radio Aire: Andrew Allison discussed the TPA’s latest research into taxpayer contributions to the Local Government Pension Scheme

 

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