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Friday 9 March 2012

Chichester Observer: Council appoints first female chief exec – £110k

Calling for the salary cut, Taxpayers’ Alliance spokesman Andrew Allison said: “Councils argue they have got no option but to increase parking charges because they’ve got no money. But we are highlighting areas where they could save money in senior salaries.

“All of these senior council officers should be leading by example. More junior members of staff are already on pay freezes.”

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Mail Online: Cash-strapped council spent £100,000 making ‘patronising videos teling people how to wash their hands

But the movies were criticised by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, who said no-one wanted to watch them.

A spokesman said: ‘Some councils either have more money and time than they know what to do with, or have a misguided understanding of what their job involves.

“Publicity and communications has long been an area where some councils simply don’t seem to understand what is a good idea and what isn’t.

“More worryingly, some of them don’t seem either able or willing to learn from their mistakes and stop pursuing poor ideas when they have clearly failed.’

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Mail Online: Health chiefs blow £10k telling staff to SMILE more often

TPA campaign director Emma Boon said: ‘Bosses at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust should be issued their very own punishment card for wasting taxpayers’ money in such an egregious manner.

‘If hospitals want to make patients smile, then they should worry more about treating the sick and less about whether doctors are grinning like a Cheshire cat.

Barmy spending like this won’t only prompt ridicule, it will anger patients who see precious resources squandered on a shallow gimmick.’

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Farm Business: Financial Review- Green policies push up electricity prices

“Plans for draconian climate regulations and expensive renewable energy subsidies are going to drive gigantic increases in energy bills in the next decade,” said Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

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Politics.co.uk: Emma Boon, Comment: We don’t need the 50p rate or the mansion tax

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BBC 3 Counties: Campaign Manager Robert Oxley discussed the introduction of elected police commissioners

Nottingham Post: Money saving scheme cost Nottingham city council an extra £1.7m

The TaxPayers’ Alliance have described it as “squandered valuable savings” but the council says it is because they have decided to extend the scope of the programme since it was first given the go ahead. This has also meant the council has to purchase more licences and hire more specialist external experts to implement the project.

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Telegraph.co.uk: Council spends £100,000 on ‘how to wash your hands’

The movies were dismissed by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which said that no-one wanted to watch the films.

A spokesman said: “Some councils either have more money and time than they know what to do with, or have a misguided understanding of what their job involves.

“Publicity and communications has long been an area where some councils simply don’t seem to understand what is a good idea and what isn’t.

“More worryingly, some of them don’t seem either able or willing to learn from their mistakes and stop pursuing poor ideas when they have clearly failed.”

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Daily Express: Pension bonus for millions

John O’Connell, research director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, called for the measure to be included in a wider overhaul of the tax system.

He said: “It’s good that the Office of Tax Simplification is trying to come up with ways to simplify the tax system, but they’ll keep coming up short unless we significantly overhaul it. We have to be far more radical if we want a system that is fit for purpose.”

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