Andy Silvester joins the TaxPayers’ Alliance from the Institute of Directors
Apr 2014 11

We can today announce that Andy Silvester will be joining us after the Easter break as Campaign Manager responsible for Communications.

For the last two years, Andy has been Senior Parliamentary Affairs Officer at the Institute of Directors, from where he brings a wealth of experience in dealing with the media, delivering campaigns and engaging with the organisation’s members, supporters and other stakeholders.

He holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from King’s College, London, and in his spare time is an American Football coach.

With current Campaign Director, Robert Oxley, leaving to join Business for Britain, Andy’s arrival completes a raft of recent new hires, with Dia Chakravarty and Sonia Khan already ensconced in their roles as Political Director and Campaign Manager (Grassroots) respectively.

Andy will be the principal point of contact for press quotes, interview bids and other media enquiries.

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“I’m delighted to be welcoming Andy to the TPA as his knowledge, contacts and enthusiasm for our mission will make him a great asset. We are all hugely looking forward to working with him as we seek to promote our War on Waste and continue to make the case for lower, simpler taxes. In Andy, Dia and Sonia we’ve got a first-class campaign team in place. “Andy comes from the IoD, with whom the TPA has worked closely in the past, and I very much hope we will find ways of collaborating again in the future. Simon Walker, James Sproule and the rest of the IoD team make a vital contribution to the economic debates about growth, taxation and regulation in this country and long may they be loudly heard.”

Matthew Elliott, Founder of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“I’m proud of the TPA’s record of nurturing up-and-coming talent over the years. From James Frayne who became Head of Comms at the Department for Education, to Susie Squire who became the PM’s spokesperson, to Mark Wallace at ConservativeHome and Emma Boon at Brunswick Public Affairs, we have spotted the best and the brightest over the ten years since our launch.  “Andy Silvester is in the same league as these talented campaigners and working alongside Dia Chakravarty and Sonia Khan, I can see the TPA campaign team making a huge impact in the run-up to the general election, and beyond.”

Andy Silvester, incoming Campaign Manager (Communications) of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“After two fulfilling years at the IoD, I’m thrilled to be joining Jonathan and the team at the TPA in this crucial period running up to the general election. I’ve always admired the TPA’s campaigning strength and am excited now about rolling up my sleeves and waging War on Waste.”

No Mansion Tax, Danny Alexander, and please be honest about the personal allowance
Apr 2014 09

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander gave a speech this morning about the Coalition’s record on tax. He aligned the Liberal Democrats with the Coalition tax policy, pledged to raise the personal allowance of tax free income to £12,500 and indicated that a new ‘Mansion Tax’ proposal would form part of their manifesto.

He was right to align himself to the Corporation Tax cuts which the Government have implemented as well as the cuts to the personal allowance. But he is wrong to claim that the Liberal Democrats have met their manifesto commitment on the personal allowance, and wrong to propose a new tax on high value homes. Continue Reading

How do you solve a problem like the expenses crisis?
Apr 2014 08

How do you solve a problem like the expenses crisis? This is a question that Westminster has failed to satisfactorily answer since 2009 and now the Maria Miller saga has reignited the debate about MPs, expenses and accountability. Regardless of whether the Secretary of State’s miserly apology and repayment of nearly five thousand pounds is enough to keep her in post, this case raises bigger questions about the systems we use to hold MPs to account

A lot of important work has been done to sort out the mess that was MPs expenses since 2009. The expenses system of today, while bureaucratic, is not open to the level of abuse that the old Fees Office once was. Despite this, there is danger that a particularly toxic mix of circumstances (questions over the commissioner’s findings, a lack of contrition from Miller and the inability of the voters to do anything about it) will undermine the public’s faith in Parliament. Continue Reading

Let there be light in Sutton Coldfield
Apr 2014 04

Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in Europe, recently paid around £2,000 to install a new lamp post. However, residents have been left dumbstruck as the post does not light up the pavement below.  Eastern Road in Sutton Coldfield has been left in darkness as the lamp post has been put up directly behind a conifer tree. Continue Reading

The Welsh NHS, a lost generation?
Apr 2014 03

For over a decade the Welsh Government has been running the NHS in Wales. Control of the NHS should have given the Welsh Government the ability to localise services and pursue policies that Welsh taxpayers really want. As a result policies such as free prescriptions have been introduced in an attempt to win votes and are often cited as a beacon of success of the Welsh Government. Continue Reading

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