TaxPayers' Alliance announces June’s Pin-Up and Pinhead of the Month

June 29, 2012 10:40 AM


  • Senior Liberal Democrat MP David Laws praised for his call to reduce tax rates for all and cut state spending to 35% of GDP

  • Conservative leader of Leicestershire County Council David Parsons under fire for breaking code of conduct and using taxpayer-funded chauffeur for hundreds of trips to London


Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance announces June’s recipients of its monthly awards to celebrate those politicians who have done the right – and wrong – thing by the taxpayer.

The man, woman or organisation to be congratulated for saving public money or acting in the interests of the hard-pressed taxpayer is named the TPA’s “Pin-Up of the Month”, whilst whoever is found to have shown the greatest disregard for taxpayers’ cash or their interests is shamed as the TPA’s “Pinhead of the Month”.

June 2012’s Pin-Up of the Month is David Laws MP, the Liberal Democrat MP for Yeovil and former Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He has published an essay and given an interview in the last week in which he called for:

  • A further rise in the personal tax allowance

  • Lower rates of tax at all income levels

  • Reform and simplification of the tax system

  • Long-term total public spending growth to be restrained at below the trend rate of growth of the economy

  • The share of the economy accounted for by the public sector to be cut to 35 per cent


His position on all these matters echoes the recent findings of the final report of the 2020 Tax Commission, which was a joint project of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the Institute of Directors.

Mr Laws specifically recognised that the state share of the economy needs to be shrunk “until it is back into kilter with the amount of tax people are prepared to pay”.

Meanwhile, the TPA’s Pinhead of the Month for June is Cllr David Parsons, the Conservative leader of Leicestershire County Council, who has been found by the authority’s standards committee to have breached five conditions of the councillors’ code of conduct. The censure relates to how he kept hold of taxpayers’ money paid to him for trips to Europe which should have been reimbursed to the council.

It has also now emerged that over the last six years Cllr Parsons used the council’s chauffeur-driven car to take him on no fewer than 202 official trips to London, at a cost of £280 per journey. The same trips would have cost around half as much if he had travelled by train, meaning that his fondness for the official car cost Leicestershire taxpayers somewhere in the region of £25,000.

A council investigation is also now underway into claims that he used the official car for family weddings, trips to the theatre and political meetings, whilst Leicestershire Police are now investigating allegations of financial irregularities.

Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented:
“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who are seeking to do the right thing by taxpayers.

"Taxpayers across the land should welcome David Laws' call both for a significant reduction in public spending and for cuts in tax rates for all.  He brilliantly articulates the arguments which the TPA has long championed which demonstrate that lower taxes and lower spending are key to delivering long-term economic growth. It is always reassuring to hear a politician recognising the dangers of a bloated public sector and an overtaxed population, and this intervention makes Mr Laws a deserving Pin-Up of the Month."

“Meanwhile, Cllr David Parsons has badly let down the people of Leicestershire. When it comes to taxpayers’ money being used for expenses, politicians at every level have to be completely transparent and beyond reproach. People will have been astounded to discover that thousands of pounds of travel expenses were in Cllr Parsons’ personal bank account when they should have been paid to the council.

“And then there's his taste for being chauffeur-driven to meetings in London when the train would have been so much cheaper. Again, he has let down the people he is supposed to be representing, costing them tens of thousands of pounds. Councillors – and the staff who work for local authorities – have a responsibility to deliver taxpayer value for money, but such a culture sadly does not seem to have been prevalent in Leicestershire of late.”

  • Senior Liberal Democrat MP David Laws praised for his call to reduce tax rates for all and cut state spending to 35% of GDP

  • Conservative leader of Leicestershire County Council David Parsons under fire for breaking code of conduct and using taxpayer-funded chauffeur for hundreds of trips to London


Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance announces June’s recipients of its monthly awards to celebrate those politicians who have done the right – and wrong – thing by the taxpayer.

The man, woman or organisation to be congratulated for saving public money or acting in the interests of the hard-pressed taxpayer is named the TPA’s “Pin-Up of the Month”, whilst whoever is found to have shown the greatest disregard for taxpayers’ cash or their interests is shamed as the TPA’s “Pinhead of the Month”.

June 2012’s Pin-Up of the Month is David Laws MP, the Liberal Democrat MP for Yeovil and former Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He has published an essay and given an interview in the last week in which he called for:

  • A further rise in the personal tax allowance

  • Lower rates of tax at all income levels

  • Reform and simplification of the tax system

  • Long-term total public spending growth to be restrained at below the trend rate of growth of the economy

  • The share of the economy accounted for by the public sector to be cut to 35 per cent


His position on all these matters echoes the recent findings of the final report of the 2020 Tax Commission, which was a joint project of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and the Institute of Directors.

Mr Laws specifically recognised that the state share of the economy needs to be shrunk “until it is back into kilter with the amount of tax people are prepared to pay”.

Meanwhile, the TPA’s Pinhead of the Month for June is Cllr David Parsons, the Conservative leader of Leicestershire County Council, who has been found by the authority’s standards committee to have breached five conditions of the councillors’ code of conduct. The censure relates to how he kept hold of taxpayers’ money paid to him for trips to Europe which should have been reimbursed to the council.

It has also now emerged that over the last six years Cllr Parsons used the council’s chauffeur-driven car to take him on no fewer than 202 official trips to London, at a cost of £280 per journey. The same trips would have cost around half as much if he had travelled by train, meaning that his fondness for the official car cost Leicestershire taxpayers somewhere in the region of £25,000.

A council investigation is also now underway into claims that he used the official car for family weddings, trips to the theatre and political meetings, whilst Leicestershire Police are now investigating allegations of financial irregularities.

Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented:
“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that as well as making examples of those who have shown a disregard for public money, it is important to recognise those who are seeking to do the right thing by taxpayers.

"Taxpayers across the land should welcome David Laws' call both for a significant reduction in public spending and for cuts in tax rates for all.  He brilliantly articulates the arguments which the TPA has long championed which demonstrate that lower taxes and lower spending are key to delivering long-term economic growth. It is always reassuring to hear a politician recognising the dangers of a bloated public sector and an overtaxed population, and this intervention makes Mr Laws a deserving Pin-Up of the Month."

“Meanwhile, Cllr David Parsons has badly let down the people of Leicestershire. When it comes to taxpayers’ money being used for expenses, politicians at every level have to be completely transparent and beyond reproach. People will have been astounded to discover that thousands of pounds of travel expenses were in Cllr Parsons’ personal bank account when they should have been paid to the council.

“And then there's his taste for being chauffeur-driven to meetings in London when the train would have been so much cheaper. Again, he has let down the people he is supposed to be representing, costing them tens of thousands of pounds. Councillors – and the staff who work for local authorities – have a responsibility to deliver taxpayer value for money, but such a culture sadly does not seem to have been prevalent in Leicestershire of late.”

Latest Blogs: