The truth about NHS pay – where is the money going?
Oct 2014 14

Yesterday’s strikes by NHS workers elicited strong responses from patients, NHS workers and politicians. Nurses and midwives were understandably put front and centre of the unions’ campaigns – the public tend to prefer NHS nurses to NHS bureaucrats.

But some of the unions (most notably Unison) don’t just represent nurses and ambulance staff, but tens of thousands of NHS middle-managers.

For the avoidance of any doubt, all NHS staff got a pay rise. Continue Reading

Why Australia’s Treasurer isn’t sure whether Corporation Tax will still exist in 20 years time
Oct 2014 14

Will Company Tax still exist in 20 or 30 years’ time? Good question. I don’t know. But I’d like to find out the answer.

Australia’s Treasurer, Joe Hockey, answered my question with refreshing honesty at a lecture hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs about the future of corporate incomes taxes (“Corporation Tax” in the UK). Continue Reading

Abolish National Insurance says the Centre for Policy Studies
Oct 2014 13

A new report from the Centre for Policy Studies has called for National Insurance to be abolished. The report, NICs: The End Should Be Nigh, recommends replacing employee’s National Insurance Contributions and Income Tax on earned income with a new ‘Earnings Tax’. It also calls for employer’s National Insurance to be abolished altogether, with higher consumer taxes to make up the revenue shortfall.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has long campaigned for National Insurance to be abolished, not least as part of our major campaign to simplify the tax system with The Single Income Tax and our 2020 Tax Commission. We even made a giant payslip to illustrate how abolition would make taxes simpler and more transparent. So this thoughtful proposal deserves close attention and consideration. Continue Reading

New research reveals foreign aid failing to increase freedom in developing world
Oct 2014 13
  • Extensive data study over the past ten years finds that foreign aid spending has no bearing on the freedom of ordinary people, the press or business in developing countries
  • Ground-breaking report gives developing countries a “freedom score” and contrasts that with the amount of bilateral foreign aid given by the UK Government
  • Of 20 countries studied, 10 countries showed no change at all in their freedom score despite an increase in bilateral aid they received, and 5 countries had a falling freedom score despite an increase in bilateral aid.


New analysis by the TaxPayers’ Alliance demonstrates that British foreign aid spending has little to no bearing on the freedom experienced in receiving countries. The research, which uses a series of well-respected indices to deliver an overall “freedom score”, plots that score against the amount of foreign aid a country has received. This freedom score encompasses freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of the internet and business and economic freedom. Continue Reading

HMRC’s latest blunder discussed on ITV News
Oct 2014 10

It was revealed this week that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have – again – managed to get millions of tax bills wrong. It’s hardly a surprise that even the professionals can’t administer our overly complicated, 17,000-page tax code.

Our Director John O’Connell discussed HMRC’s blunder on ITV News with Consumer Affairs Editor Chris Choi last night.

Of course, the context is crucially important. It has been proposed that HMRC receive additional powers to dip directly into people’s bank accounts when they suspect tax evasion. But how can anybody trust HMRC to do it fairly, when they bungle the system they’ve already got? Until HMRC can be trusted, there’s no way tax collectors should be given the power of judge, jury and executioner over individuals’ tax arrangements.

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