It’s time to put an end to golden goodbyes
Jul 2013 02

Yesterday, the National Audit Office (NAO) released a fiercely critical report on the levels of severance pay at the BBC. It found that the corporation had given licence fee payers poor value for money with the £25 million it dished out in payoffs to 150 senior members of staff.

BBC severance payments hit the headlines last year when Director General George Entwistle was handed a £475,000 golden goodbye despite being shown the door after just two months in the job. The BBC then called in the NAO to determine the extent of the problem. The report is damning. Continue Reading

Bath’s ‘parking tax’ own-goal
Jul 2013 02

Great discontent has been stirred up by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s (B&NES) recent hike in parking fees and extension of pay-and-display to include the whole of Royal Victoria Park.

‘It’s daylight robbery, or the introduction by B&NES of a Parking Tax,’ says a Bath TPA supporter. ‘For my visitors to park at or near my home, they must display a Visitors’ Permit that until recently was valid for a 24 hour day. The validity of this permit has just been reduced in time from 24 hours to 4 hours—thereby increasing the daily charge to me or my visitor six-fold!’ Continue Reading

COMMENT: Our MPs should want to represent the people, not pick up bigger pay packets
Jul 2013 02

Following suggestions that MPs should be given a 10 per cent pay rise, John O’ Connell argues against the increase in the Yorkshire post:

WHEN George Osborne delivered the Spending Review last week, he said that there would be a restriction of one per cent on public sector pay increases in the near future. On top of that, he called for an end to incremental pay increases. Both were welcome moves. Many public sector bodies have been dodging the earlier pay freeze, announced when the coalition came to power in 2010, by moving staff up within existing pay bands.

Click here to continue reading the full article

Islington’s £1m road fiasco continues
Jul 2013 01

Islington Council’s at it again—and with a spectacular finale to its bungled road width restriction scheme that I reported in my previous blog. It’s already caused several accidents and had to be demolished and redesigned at a total cost to local taxpayers of about £110,000. On top of that, the scheme gave rise to a potential Council liability of up to £1 million for about 10,000 Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) illegally issued to drivers during a five-month period.

Now, a couple of days ago, I drove along the road where this monument to council waste was located and had to rub my eyes to make sure I wasn’t dreaming—it had disappeared yet again! Leaving only a few faint traces of its existence on the road surface. Continue Reading

TaxPayers’ Alliance responds to suggestions MPs should receive £7,500 pay rise
Jul 2013 01

Responding to reports that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) is considering setting a pay rise for MPs of around £7,500, taking the salary to £75,000, Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“MPs are already very well paid both in terms of European politicians and the average salary in this country.

“It would be particularly egregious for politicians to be handed a whopping great pay rise while hard-pressed taxpayers tighten their own belts.

“Ipsa must recognise that its own polling shows the public simply do not support an increase, nor would it be consistent for MPs to take a rise while rightly freezing pay elsewhere in the public sector.”

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