A sour note for taxpayers as NHS spends £5,000 on jazz seminar
Jan 2014 06
NHS managers have splashed out £5,000 on an afternoon of jazz at taxpayers’ expense. The London Leading Health Partnership, which runs courses for NHS staff members, hired a pianist to present the 4 hour ‘Jazz Thinking for Transformational Leadership in the NHS’ course to managers, doctors and nurses.
Participants took part in a jam session, followed by a presentation, designed to help with “improvisation and communication”. The course applies jazz techniques to “enhance the art of transformational leadership”.
Help us tell George it’s time to call time on duty and scrap the Alcohol Duty Escalator
Dec 2013 18

We have today launched a campaign with the Wine and Spirits and Trade Association calling on the Chancellor to cut the Alcohol Duty Escalator (ADE).

We need your help to put pressure on George to “call time on duty”. Visit www.calltimeonduty.com to contact your MP and share the facts!

alcohol duty

Introduced in 2008, the ADE has increased the tax on alcohol by 2% above inflation every year and, under current plans, is due to do so again in the 2014 Budget.

Whilst beer was removed from the duty escalator in the 2013 Budget, tax on wine has increased by 50% and tax on spirits by 44% since 2008.
Since George Osborne became Chancellor, tax on wine and spirits has increased by a staggering 25%. In total, tax now accounts for 79% of an average priced bottle of spirits and 57% of an average priced bottle of wine.

According to a Ernst & Young report published today, employment growth in the sector has been steadily declining since the introduction of the Alcohol Duty Escalator. The report found that if the Chancellor was to scrap the alcohol super tax in the next Budget it would lead to a £230m increase in the wine and spirit industry’s contribution to public finances, rising to £265m in 2018, and almost 6,000 UK jobs would be created in 2014 alone.

We need your help to put pressure on George to “call time on duty”. Visit www.calltimeonduty.com to contact your MP and share the facts!

Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

“It is shocking that most of the price we will pay when buying our favourite tipple this Christmas will go straight to the taxman. If you want to leave a festive brandy out for Santa as he delivers the presents on Christmas Eve, you’ll have to buy another four for George Osborne. The Chancellor rightly stopped the endless tax hikes on beer at this year’s Budget so he should be fair and do the same for wine and spirits in 2014.”

Bath council spends more money on failed bike scheme
Dec 2013 17

Having spent millions of pounds on a failed Boris-style bicycle hire scheme in Bath, Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) is preparing to do it all over again—with taxpayers once again footing the bill.

A TPA supporter in Bath recently spotted in the corner of a local scrap yard the forlorn sight of a pile of nearly new Bath cycle scheme bikes waiting to be crushed—taxpayers’ money being ground to dust. The sorry saga started in 2011 when Boris-Bike-style stands went up at four locations across Bath. After the first week, only 29 people had signed up to use the bikes, making a total of 36 trips. Following further poor use during the next two years the scheme was brought to an embarrassing end by the council. One local resident explained that the scheme ‘was prohibitively expensive for casual use and a hassle to get started with.’ Continue Reading

Spending transparency will force councils to tighten their belts
Dec 2013 16

Eric Pickles has opened up a new front in the war on council waste by issuing new guidance for local authorities to publish key spending data. The new transparency code will be mandatory for all councils whose gross income exceeds £6.5 million.

Councils will be required to publish spending on corporate credit cards, money raised from parking charges, trade union facility time, contracts and tenders, property assets, and grants to voluntary and community groups. There are of course some councils who do publish this data, allowing residents to scrutinise what is being done with their cash, but too many local authorities need to vastly improve their transparency.   Continue Reading

Swansea residents oppose bin collection limits
Dec 2013 16

The TaxPayers’ Alliance was in Swansea last Friday, opposing the Council’s move to limit the number of black bin bags households can leave out for collection every fortnight to only three. On a very damp morning, when most people thought it better to stay indoors, we were able to collect over one hundred signatures against these proposals.

During the morning we heard stories of residents already having to take rubbish to their local refuse site as the collections aren’t frequent enough, and young mothers were complaining that the sanitation collection used for babies nappies has gone weeks without collection, even though the council has pledged to maintain this weekly service. Continue Reading

Page 40 of 897« First...102030...3839404142...506070...Last »