Thanet Council loses £3.4 million
Jul 2013 09

Thanet District Council has managed to lose £3.4 million as a result of the financial collapse of TransEuropa Ferries (TEF), who operated a service from the council owned port of Ramsgate to Ostend in Belgium.

In 2009 the ferry operator owed the council £330,000, which then spiralled into more than £560,000 in 2010 before a deal was struck to defer the repayment of port fees – worth more than £1 million a year. When the company eventually filed for administration in March, the council was owed £3.4 million.  Continue Reading

Bath supporters want to ‘Stop the Energy Swindle’
Jul 2013 08

The sun shone on Bath TPA supporters as they helped Chief Executive Matthew Sinclair launch our ‘Stop the Energy Swindle’ campaign in the South West. Gathering in the shadow of Bath’s beautiful Abbey, they handed out leaflets to local shoppers, telling them how they can protest at sky-high gas and electricity bills inflated by fat government green subsidies and taxes.

‘It’s ridiculous,’ said Bath’s TPA grassroots coordinator Tim Newark, ‘ we’re paying way more than we need for our heating bills just so wealthy landowners can make even more money out of taxpayer subsidies for wind farms and solar panels. It hits right at the heart of our soaring cost of living expenses and it’s not fair on families already struggling with other rising bills.’ Continue Reading

Response to Greenpeace
Jul 2013 05

Greenpeace has attacked the calculations underlying our EnergySwindle.org website and the Daily Mail report on our new campaign.

They have two key objections: first that we have assumed a similar rise in gas bills to the rise in electricity bills projected by Liberum Capital; second that the Liberum Capital report is based on high estimates of the cost for investment required in the electricity sector.

I find it implausible that taxes on domestic electricity will rise dramatically relative to taxes on domestic gas. If we start from the premise that the Government is serious about its policies working out and meeting their emissions and renewable energy targets, which is the whole point of the campaign, then they need to get as close as possible to a single tax on emissions, whatever the source. Continue Reading

Revealed: Brussels gives environmentalists €100m to support expensive energy taxes
Jul 2013 05

Following the launch of Stop the Energy Swindle, our campaign fighting the taxes pushing up family and business energy bills, we can reveal that £86 million has been handed to environmentalist campaigns in the UK and the rest of the European Union since 1997. British taxpayers have paid for around £8.6 million of this budget.

Taxpayers are paying twice: once for the grants, and again in higher energy bills caused by successful environmentalist campaigns for energy taxes and new regulations.

Click here to read the report including a full list of funded groups

The key findings of this research are:

  • Total EU funding to environmentalist groups has been over €100 million since 1997, around £86 million at the current exchange rate.
  • Based on Britain’s share of gross contributions to the EU budget, that is around £8.6 million.
  • 25 groups have received more than €1 million eachup from 19 groups in the past year alone, including Friends of the Earth (£5.8 million) and the Climate Action Network (£2.2 million).
  • The European Environmental Bureau has received the most funding, at nearly €12 million (£10 million). With nearly 60 per cent of its funding coming from the public sector the organisation cannot be considered as a meaningfully independent non-governmental organisation.

This funding is an unfair subsidy at the expense of many people who may not agree with the environmentalist campaigns’ objectives:

  • Many environmentalist campaigns are largely funded with money raised in taxes and have an increasingly direct role in public sector decision making. Their status as true non-governmental organisations has been undermined and they should be subject to greater transparency.
  • Environmentalist campaigning often ends up colluding with commercial interests. Groups pressing for greater regulations create profits for some businesses and costs for others. Those costs are often passed on to consumers.
  • Taxpayer funded lobbying and political campaigning does not represent any independent economic or popular interest. It promotes the priorities of politicians or officials and allows them to cement or expand their existing influence. It acts to reinforce existing political judgements.
  • The organisations funded by LIFE+ also take political positions that contradict Britain’s interests, though they are in line with the policy goals of the European Union institutions.
Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:
It is a disgusting waste for Brussels to spend our money funding their pet environmentalists like Friends of the Earth. This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to put a democratic gloss on fat subsidies for special interests in favoured industries like wind power. It would be funny if it was not so expensive for families already struggling to pay their bills. Taxpayer subsidies for radical environmentalists need to end. Politicians should be looking to put in place a more affordable energy policy rather than caving in to demands from their sock puppets for ever more onerous taxes and regulations.
‘Stop the Energy Swindle’ Street Stalls
Jul 2013 04

Grassroots supporters across the UK are helping to promote our new campaign launched this morning, ‘Stop the Energy Swindle‘. We have a number of street stalls planned in the next few weeks, with more in the pipeline for the rest of the summer.

If you are in either Bath, Cardiff, or Canterbury this Saturday, 6th July, please come and visit one of our stalls.  Continue Reading

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