How well do you know your Fiscal Facts?
Mar 2013 18

Following the results of the YouGov poll we commissioned to survey people’s fiscal knowledge of our tax system and government spending we have put some of the questions online in the form of a quiz. How good is your fiscal knowledge?

Click here to take the test  and see how well you do

The poll coincides with the launch of our new Fiscal Factbook  that seeks to help inform the public about how much of our money government takes – and how it is spent.

Grantham Freeze Business Rates Protest
Mar 2013 18

Local business owners joined us in Grantham last Friday to raise awareness of our Freeze Business Rates campaign. As we have previously mentioned, business rates went up by 4.6 per cent in 2011 and 5.6 per cent in 2012, and they are set to rise by a further 2.6 per cent in April.

One of those joining us was Jo Churchill, of SLS Scaffolding. She said Grantham was in a perfect location for those who want to commute to Nottingham, Peterborough, and London, but empty shops do not generate a feel-good factor. This is not encouraging people to come and live there. When I mentioned to her that if this latest increase is implemented in April, there will have been a rise of almost 13 per cent in three years, she said, “Have any of us seen our business incomes go up by 13 per cent in that time? We haven’t. We can’t keep penalising people who are trying to earn a living by grinding them into the ground.” Continue Reading

Exclusive Poll: More Britons believe the moon landings were faked than think that taxes are too low
Mar 2013 18
  • Pre-Budget opinion poll shows the public do not appreciate the true tax burden but still want a better deal
  • Publication of new “Fiscal Factbook” to help inform the public about how much of our money government takes – and how it is spent

The headline findings from the YouGov survey commissioned by the TaxPayers’ Alliance are as follows:

  • People underestimate the real rate of tax on their income. 52 per cent of the public think that, if they earned £25,000 a year and their employer gave them a pay rise and spent £100 doing so, they would get to keep £70 or more. In fact, they would only get to keep around £60, with just 30 per cent of the public thinking that they would keep £60 or less.
  • Fewer than one in seven people realise the Government plans to increase the debt, not reduce it. Three times as many people think that the Government’s plans involve decreasing the national debt (46 per cent), as think they involve increasing the national debt (14 per cent). In reality, the Government’s plans involve increasing the national debt by around £600 billion.
  • Most do not understand the impact of Employers’ National Insurance. 34 per cent of the public understand that a hike in Employers’ National Insurance mostly results in lower pay for workers. But 31 per cent thought that it would mean consumers paid lower prices and 10 per cent thought it would result in companies making lower profits
  • Most people have no idea how much money the Government is spending on their behalf. 77 per cent answered “don’t know” when asked how much it spends per household. The figure is in fact around £25,000, but only 5 per cent of respondents correctly identified it as £20,000 or more.

Despite those misunderstandings – which suggest that the public do not appreciate the full burden of government spending and taxes – most still believe that taxes and spending are too high, and do not expect the government to be able to afford pensioner benefits at their current level by the time they come to retire:

  • Only a tiny proportion want higher taxes and higher government spending. More people believe that alien life forms have visited the earth in UFOs (19 per cent) than think the government spends too little and taxes us too little (12 per cent). 16 per cent said the current balance was about right, while 50 per cent thought the government spends too much and taxes too much – 64 per cent of those who expressed an opinion.
  • People accept that the current level of retirement benefits is unsustainable.People are more likely to believe that the moon landings were fake and man has never visited the moon (13 per cent) than under 50s are to believe the government will be able to afford to provide the current levels of state pension and pensioner benefits when they retire (12 per cent).

 

The Fiscal Factbook is a handy pocket-sized guide to how much the government takes from us in taxes, how that money is then spent and how much we really owe.
The 28-page booklet contains a number of eye-catching graphics to explain a variety startling statistics which every taxpayer should know.

Comment on the polling and release of the Fiscal Factbook, Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“Politicians have spent decades tinkering with our tax system and making it more and more complicated and opaque.”Far too many people now do not understand how much they are paying and why there is so much pressure on their living standards. But they do understand that the tax burden has got well out of hand. The belief that the Government can or should continue to spend more of our money is now confined to a radical fringe.”Politicians of all parties need to set out strategic reforms to create a much more open and honest tax system that leaves more money in people’s pockets.”

Loughborough Freeze Business Rates Protest
Mar 2013 15

The Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA)  teamed up with local business owners in Loughborough today to call for a freeze in business rates.

After rises of 4.6 per cent in 2011 and 5.6 per cent in 2012, they argue that the proposed 2.6 per cent hike in business rates from 1st April poses a serious threat to the continued existence of shops in Loughborough’s town centre, which could not only lead to reduced consumer choice, but also destroy jobs. Continue Reading

Failed superfast network gets propped up by the taxpayer
Mar 2013 15

As reported in the Telegraph and the South Yorkshire Times today  the failed South Yorkshire Digital Regional scheme is to be offloaded to the private sector at a cost of £1.3 million to the taxpayer. Doncaster Council took the decision yesterday to transfer ownership of the failed network from four local governments – Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley – to the private sector company Bouygue Energy and Services based in France because it is cheaper than shutting down the network completely. Continue Reading

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