This afternoon Parliament will likely make emergency changes to welfare legislation following the fallout from the Cait Reilly Poundland case. Critics of the policy pursued by the Government, such as Shiv Malik in this particularly misleading Guardian article, argue that the DWP is somehow seeking to strike down the Court of Appeal judgement to deny claimants compensation that they deserve for being made to “work for the benefits”. Don’t believe this nonsense. They are adjusting legislation that was illegal because of the way it was introduced, not because of what it did.
Campaigners in the Poundland case sought to portray the Work Programme as modern day slavery (something that is frankly insulting to those who have experienced genuine slavery in the modern era) and a breach of claimants’ “human rights”. The Court of Appeal utterly rejected this argument. Whilst ruling that the legislation used in Parliament to introduce the scheme was flawed, it certainly did not reject the principle of expecting those out of work to take part in mandatory work experience in return for some of their benefits. Continue Reading
Cornwall Council was caught hopping by the surprise freeze in Council Tax forced on them by opposition councillors, says Cornish MP George Eustice. The Conservative run council had planned to raise its Council Tax by 1.97% just below the threshold needed to trigger a local referendum. But the opposition Lib Dems were joined by some backbench Tories to pass the freeze in the budget by 52 votes to 49.
Cornwall’s cabinet had argued that a rise in Council Tax was needed to protect frontline services but the opposition said their budget could freeze the tax and make savings of £4.6m by giving local residents exactly what they wanted rather than wasting money on unwanted council expenditure. ‘What I hope will happen,’ says MP Eustice, ‘is that, after council elections in May, the new regime will be able to have an emergency budget and have a proper look at how to deliver these savings but do it in the most sensitive way.’ Continue Reading
A new book by the Adam Smith Institute’s Research Fellow JP Floru assembles a small mountain of anecdotes, statistics and historical analysis to make a powerful case. Tougher regulation, high government spending and the high taxes that are required to pay for it all destroy growth and leave end up making everyone worse off. Heavens on Earth: How to Create Mass Prosperity looks at eight countries in terms of low taxes, free trade, light regulation and how changes in policy have led to dramatic changes in prosperity.
Two countries stand out from the crowd, Hong Kong and Singapore. While Britain has had a government which has consumed and taxed between 35 and 50 per cent of national income, in those two countries the proportion has been between 10 and 25 per cent. With a much smaller government holding back the economy , the results have been remarkable: Continue Reading
Writing in today’s Daily Telegraph, our Chief Executive, Matthew Sinclair argues that the Government tries its best to hide how much it takes – but the voters deserve the truth.
What is your actual rate of tax? Or, to put it another way, if your employer decided you were worth another £100, how much of that would the Government let you keep?
Ahead of Wednesday’s Budget, the TaxPayers’ Alliance asked YouGov to find out how much people thought those on an income of £25,000 – just below the national average – would be able to take home out of that £100.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance was joined by local businesspeople in Southend on Thursday to campaign for a freeze in Business Rates this week’s budget.
Business rates increased by 4.5 per cent in 2011, 5.6 per cent the year after, and are due to increase by a further 2.6 per cent in April. High rates are already crippling high streets and businesses, but the government’s plans for a third consecutive big rate hike will only lead to more empty shops and fewer work opportunities.
What’s more, the end of relief on empty properties is hurting property owners, many of whom invested in properties to provide income for their retirement. Empty commercial and industrial properties are now subject to full business rates, even if owners are not making any money from them. This has to end.
Here are few things you can do to help us win this campaign:
· Write to your MP. We’ve made it quick and easy for you. Just visit freezebusinessrates.org
· Write to your local newspaper to raise awareness of the campaign. Make sure you mention freezebusinessrates.org
· Post a link to freezebusinessrates.org on Facebook and Twitter