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Friday 27 January 2012

Politics Home: Miliband’s welcome news

His approval ratings may have fallen to their lowest level since he took over as leader, but Miliband has impressed the folks at the TaxPayer’s Alliance so much that they’ve handed him the inaugural award for “his acceptance of economic realities.”

Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the Alliance, said: “Whilst no politician has all the answers – and we may disagree with some of the solutions he proposes – Ed Miliband has to be commended for rejecting the approach of opposition for opposition’s sake and adopting a mature attitude that encompasses accepting the public sector pay freeze.”

The Alliance say they will dish out the monthly accolade to the man, woman or organisation to be congratulated for “acting in the interests of the hard-pressed taxpayer.”

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Washington Post: London 2012 Olympics: With six months to go, concerns remain

Matthew Sinclair, the director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, a lobby group, said that the special traffic lanes could sour relations with Londoners, especially the thousands who failed to secure tickets.

“If your experience of the Olympics is spending [billions of dollars] to see BMWs with dignitaries sweeping across the city, it could rub people the wrong way,” he said.

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This is Kent: Six-figure wages for new executive roles

They are being offered at the same time as the council prepares to cull 400 lower-grade staff in the new financial year and have angered pressure group The Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Campaign manager Robert Oxley said: “Getting rid of highly paid directors only to recruit several months later is hardly value for taxpayers’ money.

“Councils have to make savings and cutting excess staff earning six-figure sums is one of the steps needed to achieve this.

“It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money to fund redundancy payouts, only to fork out months later on recruitment costs.”

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Business Week: UK’s ‘disguised’ CO2 tax may harm industry, lawmakers say

“It’s a very small fraction of total tax revenue, compared to other fiscal decisions,” Matthew Sinclair, director of Taxpayers’ Alliance in London, said by telephone. “A tax that doesn’t raise a lot of revenue can be an indicator that it’s not efficient, and could be avoided.” German and French industry often get discounts on their energy bills, according to a November report Sinclair wrote on the impact of carbon costs on industry.

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BBC Radio Leeds Liz Green Live: Andrew Allison discussed the bonus paid to Stephen Hester, Chief Executive of RBS.

BBC News Channel: TPA Director, Matthew Sinclair, condemned RBS chief executive Stephen Hester’s bonus We need a change of direction, by TPA Director Matthew Sinclair

Investment in renewable energy technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions has failed to create jobs or growth, says Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance. He calls for an end to draconian climate policy and a move towards putting British scientists and engineers to work developing genuine, economical alternatives to fossil fuels

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Spectator Coffee House: A matter of honour

Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance has suggested the government block any bonuses to RBS until the Treasury has recouped its investment.

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This is Devon: Taxpayers will still pay for leaving gifts

Campaign manager Robert Oxley said: “Taxpayers won’t begrudge councils recognising long service but that doesn’t mean local authorities shouldn’t put reasonable caps on the cost of gifts.

“It’s a positive step for the council to be open and transparent about introducing this cap.

“Where colleagues and local residents feel that retiring staff deserve greater recognition they should be able to offer that without all local taxpayers being expected to bear the cost.”

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Daily Express: Sham marriage migrants rake in £23,000 benefits

Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said last night: “Locking up this vicar sadly isn’t the end of this problem for taxpayers.

“It is no surprise that so many couples are willing to take the risk of undergoing a sham marriage when the immediate access they get to the NHS, education and benefits here is worth so much.”

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Bury Free Press: Redundancies cost £2.9million

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Merging senior officer functions between councils is one way that some local authorities can make savings without cutting front line services.

“It’s important that any move to merge councils is properly thought out and will deliver savings in the long run.

“The newly merged council must concentrate on ensuring value for money so they can pass on the savings to hard pressed local residents in the form of a council tax cut.”

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EDP24: Norfolk councils fall foul of transparency drive

Robert Oxley, campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the EDP: “Taxpayers might forgive councils for missing their publication dates on the odd occasion but serious delays will damage the transparency of local authority spending decisions. It’s important that taxpayers are able to scrutinise how their money is spent.”

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Daily Express: Scandal of the £230m bill for overseas junkets

Matthew Elliot, of the campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Taxpayers are sick of hearing of one EU junket after another. It’s disgusting these MEPs racked up the equivalent of some British taxpayers’ annual salary in a matter of days.”

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Daily Express: Swoop on my toy gun calculators adds up to a waste of police time

Emma Boon, campaigns director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers want police out catching criminals, not bothering shopkeepers who sell novelty calculators.”

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The Sun: £12million in compo for cops

Taxpayers’ Alliance spokeswoman Emma Boon said: “Sadly the growing compensation culture is partly responsible for many of these bonkers payouts.

“Police forces should fight questionable claims so money isn’t diverted away from the front line. Many of these incidents look trivial.”

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Mail Online: Matthew Elliott’s blog – Quangos lobbying the Government using our money

Last week, a quango called ‘SmokeFree South West’ launched a lobbying campaign to push for the introduction of plain packaging on tobacco products ahead of the Government consultation. Kate Knight, heading the campaign, claims that plain packaging will discourage new smokers from taking up the habit and prevent tobacco companies from seemingly targeting young smokers and women with stylish packaging.

This campaign is being paid for using taxpayers’ money, so you and I are working hard and paying our taxes so one government body can lobby another government department to endorse plain packaging. Should taxpayers’ money really be used to lobby Ministers to make a decision on something? Can’t they make up their own minds?

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Metro: Rail staff to bank £2,500 bonuses for workign during Olympics

Emma Boon, campaign director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance lobby group, called the bonuses ‘outrageous’.

‘To many taxpayers this will simply look like a bribe not to strike during the Olympics,’ she added.

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BBC News Online: RBS chief Stephen Hester’s £963,000 bonus criticised

Matthew Sinclair, from campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance, told the BBC the government should block any bonuses for Mr Hester until the taxpayers’ investment in RBS is repaid.

“It’s incredible that we’re seeing a huge bonus which should be reflecting performance in the interest of shareholders and that’s you and me,” he said.

Click here to read the full story


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