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Taxpayers suffer while funding civil service perks

By Sam Packer, media campaign manager The coronavirus emergency has hammered taxpayers. With GDP dropping by 20 per cent in April, millions more on the claimant count, nearly 10 million furloughed and overall pay suffering its biggest fall ever, swathes of the country face massive uncertainty and the real risk... Read more...

10 quangos that can kindle the bonfire

by Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance   As our chief executive John O’Connell noted last month, the quangocracy is out of control. It’s high time we cleaned up the state. But which quangos should be first on the chopping block? Finding a definitive list of these... Read more...

Want to pay more tax? Be our guest

By Kieran Neild-Ali, grassroots assistant Every year, certain sanctimonious millionaires, celebrities and professional activists demand that people should pay more tax. This January, a group of worthies led by Simon Pegg signed an open letter calling for tax increases. Clamouring to pay more tax gives rise to an obvious question:... Read more...

Agriculture, tariffs and food prices

Sir Richard Packer, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, explains the impact of protectionism on food prices Trade is a complex area. All sorts of different industries are impacted by trade policies and will have varied views on what the government ought to prioritise. Normally,... Read more...

Crowding out and the threat of higher debt

By Jeremy Hutton, Policy Analyst With the sun out and BBQs blazing, the country seems relatively relaxed about our rising public debt. This is perhaps surprising, given the urgency with which the debt overhang from the 2008 crisis was treated. Commentators, think-tanks and parliamentarians that might once have been hawkish about... Read more...

Pulling the plug on council energy firms

by Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance An energy company owned by Bristol City Council is up for sale, having cost ratepayers £37.7 million. As a former Bristol resident of nearly 12 years, this is unsurprising to me. Time after time, it was clear that poor council... Read more...

UBI: A shot in foot not a silver bullet

By James Roberts, political director Last week, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey donated millions of dollars to a political campaign. But this dosh wasn't for the presidential election, or any campaign for that matter. It was to push for the creation of a universal basic income.   Calls for a basic income... Read more...

We will continue to hold universities to account

By Kieran Neild- Ali, grassroots assistant The TaxPayers’ Alliance has always held universities to account over eye-watering salaries and expenditure. Higher education is largely funded by students via loans. But, only 30 per cent of students repay their loans in full, and more often than not, taxpayers are expected to... Read more...

Taxpayers set their sights on defence procurement

by Darwin Friend, researcher at the TaxPayers' Alliance   There are apparently two certainties when it comes to defence projects: costs and delivery schedules will overrun. Currently, only 5 of 32 major projects are due to be delivered on time. Successive governments of all colours have failed to get a... Read more...

Doing a 180: What can darts tell us about the economic recovery?

By Sam Packer, media campaign manager The pool stage of the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC)’s Home Tour concluded this week. It is a sign of our times that “Home” does not refer to a domestic, Britain-based competition but literally to players’ homes. With darts events, like all other live sports,... Read more...

Where have all the councils gone?

The author has asked to remain anonymous, but has been a long-serving council leader and member of cabinet.   In the year we celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day we have been asked to pull together to show that commitment, single mindedness and resolve that our predecessors showed. Many... Read more...

TfL: The furlough double whammy

By Milly Skriczka, development manager As taxpayers, we should not allow the coronavirus to prevent us from holding the representatives responsible for spending our money to account. With a total budget of a whopping £9.7 billion, TfL (and their boss, the Mayor of London) are no exception. Furthermore, today, TfL has... Read more...

The War on Waste has never been more important

By Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager The UK has spent seven weeks in lockdown. Public expenditure is soaring, millions have lost their jobs and large swathes of the public find themselves furloughed and relying on the government to pay their salary. These unprecedented measures have been understandable and justifiable in... Read more...

A Lesson from History: Free Trade Works

As part of a series of essays on the deeper questions behind politics, grassroots assistant Kieran Neild-Ali writes about the history of free trade.  This week, the third round of the UK-EU trade talks began. Many Brexiteers claim the UK’s departure from the EU presents an opportunity for a renewed... Read more...

Open all hours: why Sunday trading laws should be scrapped

In March, one of the measures the TaxPayers’ Alliance suggested to tackle the coronavirus public health emergency was the suspension of suspending Sunday trading restrictions. Positively, Parliament seems to be waking up to how a suspension could aid the effort against the coronavirus, with 40 MPs putting the idea of a... Read more...

A review of Mayor Kane

Sam Packer, media campaign manager, reviews the autobiography of Glen Jacobs aka Kane After reading Knox County, Tennessee mayor and wrestling legend Glen Jacobs’ autobiography, the first question to ponder is why it is that more politicians and celebrities can't be like Kane. Mayor Kane is a page turner which combines... Read more...

Public Health England: Their finest hour?

By Scott Simmonds, researcher at the TaxPayers' Alliance Public Health England (PHE) has been in the news a lot lately. Since its creation seven years ago, this entity has swelled in size and is now costing the taxpaying public an astonishing £300 million pounds - enough to pay for 6,556... Read more...

The BBC needs to be accountable to taxpayers

By Darwin Friend, researcher Since the foundation of the TaxPayers’ Alliance in 2004, we have fought against the wasting of taxpayers’ cash. Because the BBC’s funding comes directly from an unfair, compulsory tax on everyone with a TV set, that includes them. From £200,000 lost on unused taxis, trains and... Read more...

End of the road: council fail for sale

By Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager In March 2020, a vehicle dealership in Hounslow, London posted an unusual listing on their website. At 61 feet long, with 38 seats and a pivoting joint in its midriff, this colossus is none other than an articulated bus - more commonly known as... Read more...

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