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The pandemic isn't over for pubs yet

By Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager   The past year has been a disaster for pubs - just ask anyone in the industry. Even now they’re fully open (albeit with many lingering restrictions) the nightmare isn’t over. Industry data released this morning by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirms... Read more...

What VAT cuts mean to publicans like me

By Steve Reynolds, chef and owner of The Stagg Inn in Titley, Herefordshire   Covid-19 has been a nightmare for the proprietors of the pubs millions of homeworkers once frequented. For many of us, the last 15 months has been the worst in memory. Some have innovated by offering cook-at-home... Read more...

How do we pay off our covid debt?

By Scott Simmonds, researcher    The Office for National Statistics's (ONS) release of the public sector finances today reveals the financial impact a year of coronavirus restrictions has had on the economy and subsequently public sector borrowing. It may not be as bad as expected, but the figures still make... Read more...

HMRC faces a huge challenge when it comes to Bitcoin

By Charles Amos, regional coordinator for the TaxPayers’ Alliance With the economy still in turmoil and the prospect of impending inflation, some are looking to something called ‘Bitcoin’ to secure the value of their money.  Whether you’re interested in investing in Bitcoin or not, at a market capitalisation of over... Read more...

Tax simplification can prevent tax avoidance

By Tom Ryan, researcher   Last night the BBC aired a new investigation exposing widespread abuse of the employment allowance by companies using false directors abroad to cheat the system, using a sketchy scheme which could be costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds.    The recent investigation found that... Read more...

Top tips for cutting your council tax bill

By Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager   Council tax rates continue to spiral out of control. The number of bills over £2,000 went up by three times this year. According to our recent polling, the tax is seen as the second most ‘unfair’ after the licence fee. This is no... Read more...

The public sector's top five woke non-jobs

By Danielle Boxall, media campaign manager   Fancy a change of career or looking for new opportunities? Why not join the public sector?    According to the Office for National Statistics' recent employment figures, it’s the only jobs market seeing any growth, and as our Town Hall Rich List confirms,... Read more...

Ten takeaways from Town Hall Rich List 2021

The beginning of this month brought the release of Town Hall Rich List 2021; our yearly publication in which we reveal the sheer scale of the pay, perks, payouts and pensions afforded to council fat cats. The findings are always shocking, but taxpayers are begrudgingly familiar with the formula -... Read more...

ONS debt figures cannot be swept under the carpet

By Darwin Friend, policy analyst   The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the most recent statistics on the UK’s public sector finances. They illustrate the economic costs of coronavirus on the British economy and, combined with labour market figures released earlier this week, demonstrates why we need a... Read more...

The BBC has diverged significantly from its founding principles

by Freya Stear, operations assistant at the TaxPayers' Alliance   Yesterday marked 57 years since the launch of BBC Two in 1964. The channel represents only a tiny part of the BBC’s extraordinary growth since its 1922 inception. From its first television programme in 1932, to opening Radio 1,2,3 and... Read more...

What the ONS covid employment figures really mean

By Darwin Friend, policy analyst   Today the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its UK labour market statistics for April 2021. They reveal some concerning figures demonstrating the need for the government to rescue struggling sectors, like hospitality, by extending the five per cent VAT reduction until April... Read more...

Frozen income tax thresholds: bad news for taxpayers?

By Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance   Income tax wasn’t introduced until the end of the 18th century; and at that time, it was supposed to be temporary! It was created to fund the Napoleonic wars, but over 200 years later, it is still with us.... Read more...

Council tax rises: Why is it always going up?

What is council tax? Council tax is a tax charged to the occupiers of residential property by local authorities. It was introduced in Great Britain in 1993 to replace the community charge (commonly known as the ‘poll tax’), which replaced domestic rates in 1990 in England and Wales (and in... Read more...

Inflation is the ultimate stealth tax

by Harry Fone, grassroots campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance Through the 1970s and 80s, inflation was a major issue in Britain. Inflation peaked at 24 per cent in 1974 and hit a low of 0.37 per cent in 2015. In 1997, the Bank of England (BoE) was granted independence... Read more...

How taxing was ‘Tax Day’?

Last Tuesday was just another day in lockdown to most, but for us at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, it was a big day. It was dubbed by the press ‘Tax Day’, as the Treasury released more than 30 separate tax consultations and updates. Most of the announcements were somewhat underwhelming, but... Read more...

Tower Hamlets: Pay rises for rate-increasing councillors

by Freya Stear, operations assistant   Last night, councillors in my borough of Tower Hamlets in East London voted yet again for an increase in the basic allowance that they receive. Only two councillors, Conservative Group Leader, Peter Golds and Independent Conservative, Andrew Wood abstained. Against a backdrop of a... Read more...

Croydon council: Testing our better angels

By Michael Swadling of the Croydon Constitutionalists   I have always been a believer in the idea that whilst you might not agree with someone’s methods, it’s best to assume that their motives are good. Being a resident of the London Borough of Croydon, however, is enough to test anyone’s... Read more...

Test and Trace: At what cost?

By Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager   NHS Test and Trace has become the latest arena for the debate around wasteful government spending. The recent report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) doesn’t pull its punches, and offers some damning insights.    After the bizarre initial decision to pursue a... Read more...

Time is money: How NHS cash is propping up unions

Throughout this unprecedented public health crisis, the efforts of our healthcare professionals have remained at the forefront of the nation’s conscience. This widespread feeling of gratitude has been encapsulated by national claps, astonishing charity drives and windows across the country emblazoned with the letters “NHS”. In many ways, the health... Read more...

How we can phase out fuel duty

By Rory Meakin    The budget is almost upon us. As ever, the TaxPayers’ Alliance will be reminding the chancellor that what we really need is a recovery budget, not childish threats of tax rises. But the reports of potential personal allowance changes or pension raids sound eerily familiar, as... Read more...

The house always wins - why we need to address planning

Guest blog by Angus Gillan   The housing market is arguably the greatest driver of intergenerational inequality in Britain and one of the most prominent socio-economic challenges. Home ownership is popular yet out of reach for many. Young people see affordable housing as a key issue that could improve their... Read more...

Parish profligacy

By Policy Analyst, Jeremy Hutton   At the TPA, we consider it our duty to call out wasteful spending of taxpayers’ money wherever we see it, whether that be foreign aid largesse, councils gambling on commercial properties or the government ploughing ahead with exorbitant projects like HS2 or the Stonehenge... Read more...

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