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Should taxpayers fund Zumba, facials and spas for the NHS?

Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England, has stated that NHS hospitals should build spas and offer Zumba classes and facials in order to encourage people to live healthy lifestyles. According to Public Health England, the NHS should create ‘health campuses’ where beauty treatments, aerobics, and swimming classes... Read more...

Why is UK Aid going to some of the world's largest economies?

UK taxpayers have forked out yet more money for aid spending, even though there is little evidence it has any positive impact on the lot of the world’s poorest.    The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ACAI), the body charged with overseeing the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance, has found there... Read more...

Charges and fees and more charges and more fees

Whether it’s the charge from the library for that book that you’ve had out too long, or getting a copy of your birth certificate, local authorities in England are finding increasingly imaginative ways to charge residents for services they’re already paying for. First, the good news: excluding education services (which... Read more...

Is PFI profit really a waste of taxpayers’ money?

PFI has long been a dirty word, synonymous with the worst excesses of private enterprise – ineffective, overpriced and more than a little too close to the state. Instead of embodying a happy middle between market provision and universal service, it has been portrayed as the worst of both worlds.... Read more...

Action Day: Mid-Cheshire against HS2

Yesterday, some colleagues and I got the train from London to Crewe (only 90 minutes) to meet with an anti-HS2 group. Two local volunteers picked us up from the station and drove us to a small village in Cheshire called Lostock Green. What looked like half the village had come... Read more...

Healthy towns poorly thought-through

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, has suggested that a ‘Healthy New Towns’ programme could seek to alter individuals’ behaviour with bungs and favours for good behaviour. The trial programme will involve 76,000 homes in ten new towns across the country and future developers could also be asked... Read more...

Taxing holidays doesn't fly

For millions in Britain, the weather in August, such as it is, presents the opportunity to jet away and put the office behind them for a couple of weeks. But in recent years, the penalties for leaving the UK have grown ever more costly.  Our annual report on holiday taxes... Read more...

How to end the housing crisis

The housing crisis in London and other high-demand areas of the country is becoming an ever more important political issue as its invidious effects spread and deepen. Most economists agree on the cause: planning restrictiveness. They also agree how to fix it: weakening planning restrictions. Unfortunately, there is no such... Read more...

Could the end be in sight for stamp duty?

We first called for stamp duty to be abolished as far back as 2012. Five years down the line, it seems that Britain is ready to have a conversation about the future of stamp duty land tax – one of the most inefficient, pernicious and unfair taxes on the books.... Read more...

Stamp Duty Land Tax - What is it?

Stamp Duty Land Tax What is it? Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a tax on the purchase of property payable by the buyers. It was introduced in 2003 but replaced stamp duty, which was first introduced in England in 1694. A single 1 per cent rate of stamp duty... Read more...

Action on Sugar leave a bad taste in the mouth

Action on Sugar today attacked cereal manufacturers over their ‘scandalous’ decision not to use colour-coded labels that reveal the amount of sugar in their products. The pressure group is calling for ‘traffic light’ nutrition information to be included on all food and drink products. Campaign director Katharine Jenner said: ‘shoppers... Read more...

It's not more money that the NHS needs...

The National Director of Clinical Quality and Efficiency of the NHS, Professor Tim Briggs, today stated that the NHS must put its house in order before seeking more money from the government. Professor Briggs told the Times (£): 'I do not think at the moment we deserve more money until... Read more...

Farming Tomorrow Today

Policy Exchange's new report, Farming Tomorrow, has many excellent suggestions for the reform of the UK's agricultural sector. The report, written by Warwick Lightfoot, has a plethora of sensible policies, including: Unilaterally phasing out tariffs A phasing out of production subsidies and income support New powers for the Food Safety... Read more...

Open letter to the Transport Select Committee

This project is deeply unpopular and has managed to garner opposition to it from across the political spectrum. As recently as January this year, the Treasury Select Committee raised concerns about HS2's lack of economic rationale. This was the latest in a long line of critical reports from public bodies.... Read more...

Vice chancellors' vices

The vice chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland, Craig Mahoney, has today bemoaned his salary of £227,000 as insufficient. The reason? He lacks a grace-and-favour home for entertaining. Vice chancellors, the chief executives of universities, are some of the best remunerated public officials in the country. The... Read more...

Euston Station Action Day

We were out campaigning today at Euston Station, the first stop on the HS2 line (if it's ever built!). We got an incredible response from the public, who were shocked by the cost, dismayed about the environmental impact and worried about the disruption it will cause their commute. If you... Read more...

Guildford Action Day

Pictures from our action day in Guildford have been uploaded onto our Facebook page. Click this link here to view them. Below is a copy of our leaflet from the day.     Read more...

BBC Pay Day Dismay

This morning the BBC released information regarding the salaries of their highest earning employees including the likes of Gary Lineker and Claudia Winkleman. We welcome this move towards greater transparency in the public sector, and some of the figures that have come out from this publication are rather alarming. For... Read more...

New report confirms that aid money is wasted (we told you so)

A report by the National Audit Office released this week has highlighted key deficiencies with our system of distributing foreign aid. Britain currently adheres to the UN target to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) on foreign aid. Formal commitment to this target was entrenched into Parliamentary Statute... Read more...

Flop Gun

The recent fiasco over the government’s overpriced acquisition of F-35B Lightning II Joint Combat Fighter is yet more reason for a shake-up of military procurement. In response to the latest report in the Times, our chief executive John O'Connell said: “The first duty of the government is to keep its citizens... Read more...

Leicester Action Day

A very successful day in Leicester. People around the city centre were very responsive and incredibly supportive. It is always warming to see that taxpayers actually do care about efficient public spending and lowering the tax burden. A big shout out to our volunteers: Taylor, Tom and Matt for making... Read more...

No, austerity isn't reducing life expectancy

A report published by Sir Michael Marmot of University College London raises fear regarding life expectancy in the UK. According to Sir Michael, life expectancy (which has been rising for centuries), has ‘stalled’ since the start of the coalition government in 2010. Marmot blames this in part on the government’s... Read more...

Action Day in Gloucester

Thank you to all our volunteers who came out to Gloucester this Saturday! We talked about council tax increases, Town Hall pay and the ongoing problem of the County Council's £500 million incinerator fiasco.   If you would like a campaign day in your area, contact our Campaign Manager James... Read more...

Corporation tax vs. public sector pay cap

As debate over the public sector pay cap - not only concerning whether, but how to lift it - hots up, the chancellor, Phillip Hammond, is reportedly under pressure to cancel planned corporation tax cuts from within his own party. Nobody begrudges hard-working public sector staff a well-earned pay rise... Read more...

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