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Spotty And Dizzy

BBC correspondent doubts We currently spend some £26bn pa on incapacity, disability and injury benefits. We have 2.7m people of working age drawing IB.Everybody agrees* that many recipients are claiming for pretty dubious reasons (eg see this blog), and this morning we get some more detail: "Almost two thousand people... Read more...

Weekly Waste Watch- 81

£25 grand brekkie In the news this week:Fry up costs us £25,000- "When Denis Breading went for a fried breakfast at his work canteen it was meant to be a short break before getting on with his job. Instead he has been suspended for the past six weeks during an... Read more...

Italy to cut corporation tax

The draft 2008 Budget passed the Italian Senate yesterday. The Budget sets out plans to lower housing taxes, while at the same time the main rate of corporation tax will fall from 33 per cent to 27.5 per cent.   The main rate of corporation tax does not include regional... Read more...

Rock Crashes Onto Our Heads

As offers to buy Northern Rock come in, a key question for taxpayers is how to minimise our losses from the debacle. This is a lengthy blog, but in summary we conclude: Total taxpayer exposure is already £35-40bn (loans plus deposit guarantees) Underlying security is questionable NR shareholders are seeking... Read more...

Coventry City Council spend £50,000 on overseas travel

No sooner have we praised Coventry City Council leader Ken Taylor for pushing to keep the rise in councillors’ allowances below inflation, than a Freedom of Information response reveals that the council have spent over £50,000 in travel over the last year.   The amount, revealed by the West Midlands... Read more...

Police complaints hit 17-year high

Yesterday the Telegraph reported that police complaints are at record highs.  That isn't much of a surprise and the police themselves saw it coming.  In May the Police Federation warned that targets and other symptoms of political management were turning people off the police force: "A spokesman for the federation... Read more...

Two new TPA Organisers

This week, in the wake of the Public Sector Rich List and our growing grassroots campaigns, two new organisers have stepped forward looking to set up TaxPayers’ Alliance branches.   The first is Shipley MP Philip Davies.  He contacted me a week ago volunteering to become an organiser to help... Read more...

Voting With Their Wallets

Booming independent schools You see it's like this- when customers call the shots, suppliers have to provide what they want.Hence the current moves by independent schools to abandon the government's increasingly whacky National Curriculum and implement one based on what parents want. For primary level pupils this would include more... Read more...

Sandwell Council looks to get bigger

Sandwell Council will be opening its doors on 1st December in the hope of luring a whole new crop of bureaucrats to their ranks.   The date for their careers event is advertised in the Halesowen News, where deputy council leader Pauline Hilton also boasts:   "As the largest employer... Read more...

Have your say on council allowances

Our campaign director Mark Wallace noticed this from the BBC Website:   “A panel which reviews councillors' allowances in Lancashire is looking for two new people to sit on its board.   The independent remuneration panel monitors Lancaster City Council's members' allowance scheme and makes recommendations on potential changes.  ... Read more...

Shunning The Simple Shopper

We investigate Government Shopping The Simple Shopper features regularly on BOM. Every year his antics cost us taxpayers billions. Not only that, he often fails to bring home the actual overpriced bacon at all. From PFI, to GPs' contracts, to military kit, to IT systems, to post-it notes, the Shopper... Read more...

Government policy fails to establish sustainable employment

A recent National Audit Office report into sustainable employment reveals the inadequacy of the government’s efforts to keep people off welfare. A key finding is that the the proportion of people moving repeatedly between work and the dole queue has barely changed since the early 1980’s.   More than a... Read more...

Real tax cuts in Canada

The Conservative government in Canada has just delivered a budget which cuts both personal and business taxes. Key changes include:   The federal corporation tax will fall from 22.1 per cent to 15 per cent by 2012.   The small business corporation tax will fall to 11 per cent from... Read more...

Non-job of the week

It’s not a good week for NHS Trusts.  Yesterday the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust disclosed they spent £6,000 of taxpayers’ money on 1500 annual reports of which only 40 were distributed to residents in the North West.  Today the East London NHS Foundation Trust is in our sights because... Read more...

Welcoming democracy in local government

The Conservatives have today laid out their new plans for giving people direct democratic control of Council Tax rises. The proposal is that any Council wishing to raise Council Tax by more than a nationally determined threshold would have to hold a referendum to get the electorate's permission to do... Read more...

£6000-plus on one set of annual reports

In a response to a tip off from a TPA activist, I issued a Freedom of Information request to the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust in the North West.  The issue was over their annual report, not so much the content of the report itself, but the brochure produced at... Read more...

U-Turn On Private Health

Suddenly I feel unwell Lifelong union man Alan Johnson was put into the Department of Health for one reason and one reason only: to buy off the fractious strike-minded NHS unions after the disastrous regime of Patricia Hewitt.Obviously, your traditional union buy-off simply comprises dishing out taxpayers' money in the... Read more...

Private sector role in pioneering healthcare scheme to be slashed

From the Financial Times: "A pioneering £700m-a-year government scheme to buy surgical treatment centres and diagnostic services from the private sector is set to be more than halved by ministers. The decision – expected later this week – will not only mark another retreat from the use of the private... Read more...

Government reforms failing to deliver improvements in education?

The Telegraph reports a study by researchers at Lancaster University that claims to show that the £3 billion spent on education reforms such as specialist schools has been wasted. "By comparing results between schools, the researchers found the Excellence in Cities and specialist schools programmes boosted grades over the period... Read more...

An Interview with Douglas Carswell MP

Q. If you were in charge of any ministry which one would it be and why?  I would like to be the last Minister for Europe.  Q. What are the three most successful policies you can think of in the post-war era?  Privatisation and the “right to buy” council homes. ... Read more...

Holding the EU to account...and new issues at home

Last week we blogged on how the EU has not signed off its own accounts for well over a decade and had sacked former accountant Marta Andreasen for saying the EU was rife with “slush funds and fraud”.   On urging our activists to ask their MEP’s why the EU... Read more...

Army helicopters falling to pieces

The helicopter force of Apache gunships and Chinook transports that the British Army relies upon for support and mobility is apparently falling to pieces.  Half of the Apache gunships were grounded over summer and one third of the Chinooks withdrawn from service as not "fit for purpose".   These can... Read more...

Holding the rewards for failure to account

This year’s Public Sector Rich List includes a list of the top ten ‘Rewards for Failure’. But it’s not enough just to show how failure has been rewarded with taxpayers’ money; British taxpayers also have a right to complain. Even where people have left their job – as Rose Gibb... Read more...

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