TaxPayers' Alliance reveals October's "Pin-Up" and "Pinhead" of the Month

October 28, 2011 9:34 AM


Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance announces for the second time its new monthly awards to celebrate those in power who have sought to save – and waste – taxpayers’ money.


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 is shamed as the TPA’s “Pinhead of the Month”.


October 2011’s Pin-Up of the Month is Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chairs the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.  At a session of her committee this month, she mauled Dave Hartnett, the Permanent Secretary for Tax at HM Revenue and Customs for lying about a deal with Goldman Sachs worth millions. Aided in her questioning by colleagues, including long-serving committee member Richard Bacon, she not only accused Mr Harnett of lying to another parliamentary committee about the affair but also of “ripping off the taxpayer”. It has since emerged that after an intervention by Margaret Hodge, the Cabinet Secretary is going to investigate how to increase the accountability of HMRC in its dealings with big business.


Meanwhile, the TPA’s latest Pinhead of the Month is Cllr Nick Clarke, the Tory leader of Cambridgeshire County Council. At a council meeting earlier this month, Cllr Clarke led moves to increase councillors’ allowances by an eye-watering 25%.


Only four of his fellow Conservatives voted against the rise, which will increase councillors’ allowances from £7,610 to £9,500 and Cllr Clarke’s own package from £29,856 to £38,000. The changes will cost Cambridgeshire council tax payers an extra £166,000 a year.





Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented:


“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that key to delivering taxpayer value for money is exposing those in power to public scrutiny by ensuring that there is transparency and openness in how they spend our hard-earned cash. And as well as making examples of those who have wasted public money, it is important to recognise those who have tried to do the right thing by taxpayers.


“This month Margaret Hodge has demonstrated why the Public Accounts Committee is arguably the most important of all the parliamentary committees. She is a redoubtable committee chairman whose mission is, in her own to words, ‘to ensure value for money for the taxpayer’. We salute her and her colleagues for their work, in particular this month for their part in holding HMRC to account for dodgy deals with Goldman Sachs.”


“Unfortunately Cambridgeshire taxpayers have this month badly been let down by their county council leader, Nick Clarke, who – along with all but four of his Tory colleagues – voted for a massive increase in their own allowances. A 25% hike in the taxpayers’ cash that councillors take for themselves would be hard to justify in the best of times, but when council employees are facing pay freezes and the council is looking for all kinds of savings, it really is profligate in the extreme.”




Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance announces for the second time its new monthly awards to celebrate those in power who have sought to save – and waste – taxpayers’ money.


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 is shamed as the TPA’s “Pinhead of the Month”.


October 2011’s Pin-Up of the Month is Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chairs the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.  At a session of her committee this month, she mauled Dave Hartnett, the Permanent Secretary for Tax at HM Revenue and Customs for lying about a deal with Goldman Sachs worth millions. Aided in her questioning by colleagues, including long-serving committee member Richard Bacon, she not only accused Mr Harnett of lying to another parliamentary committee about the affair but also of “ripping off the taxpayer”. It has since emerged that after an intervention by Margaret Hodge, the Cabinet Secretary is going to investigate how to increase the accountability of HMRC in its dealings with big business.


Meanwhile, the TPA’s latest Pinhead of the Month is Cllr Nick Clarke, the Tory leader of Cambridgeshire County Council. At a council meeting earlier this month, Cllr Clarke led moves to increase councillors’ allowances by an eye-watering 25%.


Only four of his fellow Conservatives voted against the rise, which will increase councillors’ allowances from £7,610 to £9,500 and Cllr Clarke’s own package from £29,856 to £38,000. The changes will cost Cambridgeshire council tax payers an extra £166,000 a year.





Jonathan Isaby, Political Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, commented:


“The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always believed that key to delivering taxpayer value for money is exposing those in power to public scrutiny by ensuring that there is transparency and openness in how they spend our hard-earned cash. And as well as making examples of those who have wasted public money, it is important to recognise those who have tried to do the right thing by taxpayers.


“This month Margaret Hodge has demonstrated why the Public Accounts Committee is arguably the most important of all the parliamentary committees. She is a redoubtable committee chairman whose mission is, in her own to words, ‘to ensure value for money for the taxpayer’. We salute her and her colleagues for their work, in particular this month for their part in holding HMRC to account for dodgy deals with Goldman Sachs.”


“Unfortunately Cambridgeshire taxpayers have this month badly been let down by their county council leader, Nick Clarke, who – along with all but four of his Tory colleagues – voted for a massive increase in their own allowances. A 25% hike in the taxpayers’ cash that councillors take for themselves would be hard to justify in the best of times, but when council employees are facing pay freezes and the council is looking for all kinds of savings, it really is profligate in the extreme.”



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