Energy Swindle Campaign arrives in Wrexham
Nov 2013 23

Wrexham, in North Wales, has seen over the years an influx of hi-tech business and the opening of a new university. It has the second largest industrial Estate in the UK which accommodates around 300 businesses, employing 7000 staff, and creates a livelihood for many who live in Wrexham and North East Wales.

It’s not just families that are being hurt by green taxes – the businesses that provide much needed employment are being affected too, and if we want greater prosperity and more secure jobs for the people of North Wales, these green taxes have to go.

On Monday 25 November, I will be joining other TPA supporters in Wrexham who are holding a ‘Stop the Energy Swindle’ street stall. We are meeting on Hope Street, Wrexham, LL11 1BB at 11.00 am. Continue Reading

Comment: Three steps David Cameron can take to end our dysfunctional green farce
Nov 2013 23

Writing for City A.M., Matthew Sinclair argues that the Government attacking Labour for having a dysfunctional (but popular) energy policy will not be effective if it presses ahead with its own dysfunctional (but unpopular) energy policy.

“There is some controversy over whether David Cameron actually told his team they need to “get rid of all the green c**p”. But while Downing Street has denied it, there is little doubt that some ministers are realising they need to do something about the punishing costs of their current energy policies.

They are right that Ed Miliband’s promise to freeze energy prices is not remotely credible, given that he has failed to set out plans to address the real causes of rising prices. But attacking Labour for having a dysfunctional (but popular) energy policy will not be effective if the government presses ahead with its own dysfunctional (but unpopular) energy policy. Voters would be forgiven for backing the party that at least sounds like it takes the pressure on living standards seriously as, year by year, energy bills rise faster than earnings.”

Click here to continue reading the full article

Further opposition against Monthly Collections
Nov 2013 22

It’s been a number of weeks since Cardiff Council’s proposal for monthly bin collections was first aired. The proposal is designed to force the residents of Cardiff to recycle more and to cut expenditure on landfill (and in particular fines levied by the EU because of landfill) , which, in theory, are positive steps. However the draconian measures will lead to one of the most essential front line services being slashed rather than positively helping people to recycle more. Many of the hundreds of people that have signed the petition so far have expressed their dismay at the arrogance of councillors from all parties on this issue.

The council also want to introduce  fines for contaminated rubbish. Both this and the possibility of having to wait two months for a collection if you simply miss your allotted collection day were serious concerns raised by those we have spoken to. They believe regular collections not only make the city look tidy, they also ensures that problems of vermin are kept in check and cases of fly-tipping are limited. Continue Reading

Highlights from tax reform breakfast briefing
Nov 2013 21

Speakers from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Institute of Directors and the Institute for Fiscal Studies discussed tax reform at an event hosted by the Institute of Directors yesterday.  Graeme Leach, Matthew Sinclair and Stuart Adam spoke about the need for comprehensive tax reform and Britain’s two major recent reviews of the British tax system. Matthew and Graeme spoke about the 2020 Tax Commission’s Single Income Tax approach to that challenge. Stuart Adam spoke about the different approach found in the Mirrlees Review’s Taxation by Design. Continue Reading

South West Elected Commissioner’s backroom budget balloons
Nov 2013 21

In our manifesto, published before the general election in 2010, we championed elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). Police authorities were outdated, hardly anyone knew who served on them, and they lacked accountability. Although it is fair to say that the electorate didn’t go to the polls in droves to vote for their PCC, at least you now know who to go to when you want to have your say on policing in your area. Many of them have also driven down costs and waste in a way the old police authorities could never have done.

Unfortunately though, some PCCs appear to be costing taxpayers more than they should. In just over a year from when he first took office in November 2012, Tony Hogg, the PCC for Devon and Cornwall, has spent nearly £700,000 on bringing in consultants and agency staff to handle the change.‘The transition between Police Authority and Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner [OPCC] has involved a great deal of new policy and governance work,’ explains its chief executive, ‘and it was only right and proper that we brought in, for a limited time, people with specific expertise in some areas.’This does not impress the chairman of the Police Federation who quite rightly points out that the whole process was sold to the taxpayers of Devon and Cornwall as ‘cost neutral.’

‘We’re not here to criticise [the PCC] but the apparent spiralling costs of the office are concerning,’ he says. ‘What value is it adding to the force—or is it even value for money? At a time when officers are under real constraints, there are some question marks.’ In the meantime, some 500 officers have been cut from frontline policing across the region.

This criticism comes hot on the heels of further complaints of the new Devon and Cornwall PCC spending more on backroom staff than the old police authority. Seven more desk jobs have been created in the last year at an extra cost of £105,000—an increase of almost 12% on the budget of the previous year’s expenditure by the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority.

We pay our taxes to the police to be protected on the frontline, not to fund bloated bureaucracies – something Mr Hogg needs to reflect on.

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