Blog

Union predicts an apocalypse: a tad over the top?

“Dead bodies could start piling up, strip clubs could be set up on any street corner and vulnerable children could be left without care”. What does this chilling sequence of words describe? The strap-line of a bad action movie, perhaps? No. This is the scenario envisaged by Unison if the... Read more...

Council to start charging for exercising in the park

Council chiefs in Hammersmith and Fulham will charge people to operate a business in parks, as reported by the BBC, the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard. The new rules, introduced in April this year, state that anyone making money by being in a park should pay a fee. This... Read more...

Non-job of the week

We have long said Political Advisers are non-jobs. Now it seems one of them agrees with us. This is from someone's Twitter profile, giving details of their job description:Labour Political Adviser. It is an unnecessary role, proven by the fact that many councils operate perfectly well without them. To save... Read more...

Exmouth rubbish costs

Confirmation that at least one West Country council’s green agenda is neither popular nor efficient comes from Exmouth in Devon. It was bad enough when their weekly refuse collection was changed to fortnightly, but then residents of the local area known as the Colony were all issued with the same... Read more...

The growth figures

There is no doubt that the growth figures this morning are, in a word, lame.  Half a per cent up this quarter after a half a per cent down last quarter equals nothing much for six months.  The question has to be: why isn't the economy growing much?  This morning... Read more...

Non-job of the week

Redbridge Borough Council is looking for a Carbon Reduction Officer, paying between £15-£19.62 per hour. As we highlighted in our report last year, it is possible for councils to reduce their energy consumption without resorting to employing new staff. Perhaps this is something Redbridge council should be doing before spending... Read more...

Audit Commission’s Elton John style spending must end

The Daily Telegraph reports that the soon to be abolished Audit Commission spent £20,000 on luxury good and services on official Visa cards paid for by taxpayers. Executives enjoyed £600 dinners at L’Escargot and Coq d’Argent restaurants, spent £1,300 on flowers and splashed out on doughnuts, Thorntons chocolates and HMV... Read more...

False Economy debt projection update

A few weeks ago I looked at a claim on the False Economy website made by economist Duncan Weldon.  He argued that the fiscal adjustment was only cutting public sector debt at the expense of dramatically increasing private debt.  That claim was a cause of huge excitement for those opposing... Read more...

New research: Corporation Tax Policy Brief

Corporation Tax is not fit for purpose. This new Briefing Note for the 2020 Tax Commission, written by Commissioner and Associate Professor of Economics at the ESCP Europe Business School Anthony J. Evans, measures the tax against four key criteria, and finds that it drives down wages; lowers returns for... Read more...

The Unions and their unrealistic demands

The public finances are in a mess, so you’d be forgiven for thinking all councils were looking at reducing their spending. And many are, no doubt. To help the process, you’d have thought other groups like unions would be helping to suggest areas of spending to cut back in order... Read more...