Blog

Filter blogs by:

All blogs  Tax & Spend  Central Government  Local Government  Freedom & Economics 

 

The power of the positive

There's a fascinating poll up on the BBC News web site today. The related story is about the Capital Gains Tax debate, in which Alistair Darling announced that Taper Relief would be abolished - a decision he is now under great pressure to reverse.   Darling's proposal would simplify CGT,... Read more...

Problems with PFI

Reuters report that the Public Accounts Committee has found that many PFI deals have been very expensive, up to 14 per cent more than before the PFI deal was put in place. Read more...

Family Silver Going Cheap

OK children- I'm going to explain how not to sell a company We've blogged before about selling the family silver. In the Earl of Stockton's immortal words:"First of all the Georgian silver goes. And then all that nice furniture that used to be in the salon. Then the Canalettos go."... Read more...

End of the road, Darling

An excellent piece by Ian Morley in the Financial Times presents a devastating critique of Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown. It's worth reading the article in full, but here are the main challenges to the Government:   1. Causing great damage by raising taxes on small businesses and entrepreneurs when... Read more...

Virgin On A Solution?

So Sir Richard Branson is about to tow away the Crock. Hurrah! Getting that thing off the front lawn will be a load off everyone's mind.Although... is this by any chance the same Sir Richard who's famous for being one of Britain's very sharpest entrepreneurs? Hmm.According to today's Update on... Read more...

EU pushes forward a free-market in health care

Next week the EU will lay out proposals which will formalise the right of NHS users to seek safer and often superior health care abroad. Increasing numbers of UK citizens already choose to travel as far as India and Malaysia to avoid treatment in the NHS (nearly 70,000 this year... Read more...

The CBI's attempt to buy off the environmental movement

The FT reports a new CBI report endorsing new green taxes.  The reports supports a range of policies.  Strengthening emissions regulations on cars are easy for British business to endorse as our car production is now almost entirely foreign-owned.  The central recommendation, to strengthen the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, has... Read more...

A 'coo' for the taxman

Is nothing in this country sacred, nothing too out of reach of the taxman?  Today in the Telegraph it appears the taxman is trying to get his beak into pigeon racing.  Yes, pigeon racing.  As pigeon racing isn’t recognised as a sport and therefore doesn’t qualify for tax relief, pigeon... Read more...

Weekly Waste Watch 82

Champagne bureaucrats In the lavish expenses news this week:Met chief spends £15 grand on drinkies- "Andy Hayman, the Metropolitan police anti-terrorism chief, has been questioned over thousands of pounds spent on hotel expenses and drinks for his staff. He has been asked to explain at least £15,000 expenses that included... Read more...

Two front-runners for the AWM throne

The race is on for the position of chief executive at the Regional Development quango Advantage West Midlands, and although the lucky winner will be paid with your money and have hundreds of millions of your tax pounds to spend, you will have absolutely no say on who gets the... Read more...

Brown's Blunderbuss Blows Up

Those HMRC staff cuts Yes, the PM can blame the junior official who downloaded the data and sent the discs through the ordinary mail. But come on. How on earth was it possible for him to do it? What's to stop a criminal gang member getting a job round at... Read more...

HMRC Catastrophe

  Once upon a time Chancellors took responsibility Just imagine that Lloyds TSB, say, had loaded all its customer records onto an unencrypted CD and then lost it. What do you think would happen?First off, there'd be a huge public outcry, led by the media but with our name and... Read more...

It just gets worse at Birmingham City Council

It appears that hiring illegal immigrants and presiding over general misconduct within the workplace are just the tip of the iceberg for Birmingham City Council, as the Birmingham Post reports the details of just some of the millions of pounds worth of discrepancies presented to the financial audit committee yesterday. ... Read more...

Birmingham City Council swoop reveals poor management

According to a report in yesterday’s Birmingham Mail no less than 50 illegal workers were caught in a swoop at Birmingham City Council.   This investigation was called for after earlier this year one Ugandan employee, an illegal immigrant, managed to steal in excess of £1million from the council’s social... Read more...

The HMRC Helpline (and what it tells us about government)

HMRC have announced that any of the 25 million people whose personal and banking information has been lost or stolen can now phone 0845 302 1444 for information and advice about the "organisational failure" and how to protect themselves against any resulting risk of fraud or identity theft.Given the gravity... Read more...

How the HMRC fiasco informs our campaigns

The Inland Revenue fiasco will go down in the history books as one of the most unbelievable acts of incompetence by a British government.  It does, though, give us a prime example to use in our campaigns on the merits of low taxes and smaller, better government.   Firstly, small... Read more...

Non-job of the week

Melting ice caps?  Drought?  Global Warming?  Fear not because Southwark Council are coming to the rescue.  Feel free to roll your eyes at yet another local government non-job using taxpayers’ money to appease a guilty conscience.   Southwark Council this week have four jobs aimed at ‘tackling’ climate change.  I... Read more...

The Politicisation Of The Treasury

  Just watch the vid. Five months may be a lifetime in politics, but you can't mistake the enthusiasm of Treasury civil servants for Gordon Brown as he leaves them for No 10.Your correspondent was at the Treasury during the years of Healey and Howe. There is no way such... Read more...

Conservatives announce supply side reform in education

The Conservatives have today set out plans for a supply side "revolution" in education. Below are the proposals: "Provide over 220,000 new school places. That would meet the demand from every parent who lost their appeal for their first choice school in our most deprived boroughs. "Allow educational charities, philanthropists,... Read more...

The HMRC loses data on 25 million child benefit recipients

It is hard to really get your head around just how complete the failure at the HMRC today is in losing the unencrypted records of 25 million recipients of child benefit.  These records include names, addresses, national insurance data and even bank account details.  There are a few things to... Read more...

Norfolk County Councillors' unforgivable pay rise

  TPA activist Barbara Lockwood, who also organises a local campaign against council tax (known as FACT), has informed us that Norfolk’s county councillors are increasing their pay by a whopping 28%, roughly an extra £2,000 – of your money in their pockets - a year.  Just for comparison, the... Read more...

Equality Shambles

Worth £300 grand of anyone's money We've blogged the state equality industry several times. In particular, we looked at the amalgamation of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission, and the Equal Opportunities Commission, to form Labour's new super equality quango- the Commission for Equality and Human Rights... Read more...

Subordinated Taxpayers

Junk bonds at least give you a nice certificate to hang on the wall So following Darling's statement on Northern Rock this afternoon, are we any the wiser?Not really- "it would be quite wrong to dismiss any option now without proper consideration as some suggest," doesn't really tell us anything.More... Read more...

New acting school for Brum?

Liam Byrne, Minister for the West Midlands, has revealed plans for a major new Birmingham acting school according to a report in the Birmingham Post today.   Negotiations are underway regarding the ‘Brit School’, a school with an ‘arts led curriculum’ for 950 students aged 14 to 19, and designed... Read more...

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay