Hull City Council staff face forced changes to terms and conditions
Oct 2013 09

Two weeks ago I wrote about the unions emphatically rejecting changes to terms and conditions for staff at Hull City Council. The leader of the council, Steve Brady, has previously cited one of the highest mileage rates of any council in the country and high overtime costs as two examples of why changes are needed. These changes would have made savings of £2.8 million.

It was revealed in the Hull Daily Mail this morning that the council’s cabinet has agreed to start a 45-day consultation over the termination of current contracts, and will aim to replace them with new terms and conditions of employment. Staff will be re-employed on new contracts from 1 December unless agreement can be reached with the unions on the issue. Continue Reading

Cardiff Council’s barmy monthly bin collection plans
Oct 2013 09

If you asked local taxpayers for a list of vital council services they rely on, bin collections would be high on the list, and although many people freely recycle much of their rubbish, there still has to be a basic service provided for non-recyclable waste. In the past few days though, it has been reported in most of the national newspapers that Cardiff Council, in an attempt to meet the Welsh Government’s gold plated recycling targets, has proposed monthly bin and black bag collections.

The proposal could also see householders being charged ‘pay as you throw fees’ where they will pay less the more they recycle, and householders have also been warned they could face fines of £100 if they mix non-recyclables with recyclables. Continue Reading

Questionable expenditure from East Kent?
Oct 2013 08

East Kent is full of examples of questionable expenditure at the moment. Not just government and local government, but other public bodies, not all quite as accountable.

Globe trotting Kent University staff have enjoyed trips to exotic locations such as New Delhi, Shanghai, Las Vegas and Rio De Janeiro. Credit card statements for June obtained by the Kentish Gazette show more than £900 was spent on just the New Delhi Hotel and another £729 in Mumbai; £740 in Beijing and Shanghai, and £280 on Croatia’s coast. Other entries include £639 spent at the Istanbul Hilton, over £1,500 in Washington DC; £762 in Rio De Janeiro, and £668 in Dubai. December last year also saw almost £900 at restaurants and hotels on The Strip in Las Vegas. The university defended use of corporate credit cards in recruiting students from 120 countries after being forced to reveal details when the newspaper submitted a Freedom of Information request. Continue Reading

COMMENT: A Single Income Tax would simplify our excessively convoluted system
Oct 2013 08

Writing in City A.M., Rory Meakin says that the Single Income Tax is the plan for substantial tax simplification that we need:

TAX simplification is back on the agenda, thanks to Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors. Highlighting combined marginal rates of child benefit withdrawal and income tax of 73 per cent for those with four children earning between £50,000 and £60,000 a year, Walker called for radically simpler taxes. “I am all for a flat simple tax system,” he said, adding, “it has been shown to raise a lot more money”.

Click here to read the full article

Institute of Directors is right to call for substantial tax simplification
Oct 2013 07

The Director General of the Institute of Directors, Simon Walker, has spoken out against complicated and high tax rates, citing the 73 per cent marginal combined income tax and child benefit withdrawal rate faced by a taxpayer with four children earning between £50,000 and £60,000. Continue Reading

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