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Police Pay - The Worst Of Both Worlds

Is this what you want? So just let me make sure I've got this right. We're paying our policemen better than they've ever been paid, yet they're going on strike (or at least, intending to come down en masse with Blue Flu). Having perused the stats, we can confirm they're... Read more...

Low taxes attract people and businesses

An interesting piece by Arthur Laffer (of the famous "Laffer curve") and Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal shows how US states with higher taxes and regulations have lost people and businesses to states with lower taxes and regulations. The authors write: "The American Legislative Exchange Council has just... Read more...

Insensitive 100% hike in council burial charges

Funeral costs and, increasingly, inheritance tax put huge financial strain on bereaved relatives, and now a leading Stafford funeral director has complained to the Staffordshire Newsletter about the 100% inflation in charges from burial and cremation agreed by the borough council. Chris Emery of William Emery and sons is quoted... Read more...

Dispatches from the front line

Braving the cold, several TPA supporters have been active campaigning for lower taxes. Tony Flynn has recently been out in Diss and Tivetshall handing out TPA recruitment leaflets and has set up a low tax campaign site in Norfolk www.atflynn.co.uk.  We’ve also had several recruitment leaflets back from Alpington, Norwich... Read more...

School nativity thwarted by bungling bureaucrats

There is little doubt that the staging of a nativity play is a stressful experience, and that the prospect of directing tens of small children to present one of the oldest stories of all time is a daunting one. Well, for the teachers at one school in Shropshire the annual... Read more...

Putin Helps British Taxpayers

There are going to be a few changes... No wonder they don't want him to retire. This morning President Putin has even found time to help us beleaguered British taxpayers. He's ordered the closure of no fewer than 15 offices of the totally useless quango the British Council. BOM readers... Read more...

The police pay deal

If this were simply another case of public sector workers complaining about a poor deal from the Government because they weren't going to get another inflation-busting pay increase the TaxPayers' Alliance wouldn't be particularly sympathetic.  Public sector workers have had a pretty good deal over the last decade and most... Read more...

Building a world class Northampton

The world of quangos' is one ripe for ridicule. Unfortunately, the jokes are often expensive ones. Much has already been written on the excesses of some quangos, the massive public expenditure that supports them (nearly £120 billion) and the bizarreness of some of their remits. What is not always considered... Read more...

A new head of spin for Stoke-On-Trent City Council

Despite having made headlines in The Sentinel for spending £23,000 on publicity, Stoke-On-Trent City Council have now recruited a new head of public relations and communications on a £75,000 salary. The current head of news at ITV Central will be taking the position which has caused many readers and residents... Read more...

The report of the Councillors Commission - recommendations

"1.  Local authorities should be charged with a statutory duty to facilitate local democratic engagement by: a) proactively disseminating clear and accessible information on how local governance works: what councils and councillors do; what theresponsibilities of other agencies are; how local agencies relate to one another (or not); even how... Read more...

Crock Escape Plans

At the Northern Crock, taxpayers remain on the hook for £25bn of loans and a further £15bn plus of guarantees for depositors (see previous blogs here, here, and here, and this Treasury statement which spells out that the guarantee applies not only to retail deposits, but unsecured wholesale deposits as... Read more...

A Sense Of Shame

Not the only hangover from Mr Hoon's time at MOD Last week your correspondent attended the Public Accounts Committee hearing on MOD's bungled 2003-06 sale of QinetiQ (transcript here and see previous blogs, including here). BOM readers will be familiar with the huge profits made by the purchaser- Carlyle- and... Read more...

Stoke spends £23,000 a month 'to keep you in the dark'

Stoke and Staffordshire newspaper, The Sentinel, gave the West Midlands TaxPayers’ Alliance some great coverage on Tuesday as their own findings about Stoke-On-Trent Council spin coincided with the TPA’s council spending report. We found that Stoke has increased publicity spending by 279% over the last ten years, and The Sentinel... Read more...

Wasting children's time

When discussing the education system's poor performance it is common to focus on the costs to the economy, the children concerned and their chance of making their way in the world or even the waste of taxpayers' money thrown at an underperforming system.  However, the education system's failure also wastes... Read more...

Burning Money At The Carbon Trust

Carbon Trust meets the real world: why businesses don't implement its carbon reduction measures The National Audit Office recently reported on the Carbon Trust (here), and this week the Public Accounts Committee questioned officials from the Trust and Defra. The Carbon Trust likes to describe itself as a private company,... Read more...

Sorting out Southwark

Southwark Council have had a nightmare couple of weeks. Last week they admitted that almost every single one of their departments had gone over budget and predicted above-inflation council tax rises for the foreseeable future. After that bad news, this week the TPA's first Council Spending Uncovered paper revealed that... Read more...

Who helps the helpers?

A telling fact came out in answer to a parliamentary question from John Leech MP the other day. He asked Caroline Flint, Minister for Employment, how many Job Centre Plus staff had been sacked for not turning up to work in the last year.   Whilst it would have been... Read more...

It's paying off

Only mere days after our report highlighted massive overspend in council publicity, Coventry City Council have pledged to lower their publicity spending next year.    What a breakthrough, especially on a day where Hammersmith and Fulham council announce yet another council tax cut!  It shows how our activism, combined with... Read more...

3Rs setback

The Times reports that the government is to overhaul the primary school curriculum after progress in English, Maths and Science stalled.  Earlier this week the PISA reported that we are falling down international rankings and poor performance is starting to show up even in the Government's own tests; debased by... Read more...

Great news from Hammersmith & Fulham

Congratulations to Hammersmith and Fulham Council, who have announced today that they are delivering another 3% cut in council tax.   Across the country, council tax has doubled in the last ten years and yet councils claim they still don't have enough money. Taxes, they claim, must be raised further.... Read more...

Campaigners steal quango's new name

WMTPA friends at the West Midlands NO! campaign have been active in their protest against the ‘City Region’ plans by beating the authorities to the punch and registering the proposed name of the ‘Birmingham, Coventry and Black Country City Region’ themselves. Read more...

Solihull waste money on flawed parking measures

The Birmingham Post reports today that Solihull Council are planning to review some controversial parking restrictions just two weeks after they were introduced.   Local residents living in an area that becomes clogged with cars parked by shoppers patronising the nearby town centre had called for a straightforward parking permit... Read more...

Public Services Keep Failing

In the news today there are two more stories of dismal public sector failure.  Despite countless billions in extra spending within both the education system and the health service we are slipping down the international rankings for educational attainment and primary healthcare service standards are declining.  The Telegraph's leader captures... Read more...

Yet another report into Britain's failing education system

Launching a new report into childrens' educational attainment yesterday, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría emphasized the importance of education for the development of people and society: "Effective and innovative education policies open enormous opportunities for individuals....In the highly competitive globalised economy of today, quality education is one of the most valuable... Read more...

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