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IPOD generation: government failing to learn lessons

The think tank Reform has released an updated version of its important report on the IPOD generation. This time, it focuses on government policies, or lack of them, to deal with the central problem that young poeple are facing - higher taxes to deal with an ageing population, but no... Read more...

On The Show This Morning...

A morbid and depressing display... funded by taxpayers Meet Alison Goulding. She has "five tellies - including a £1,000 widescreen - a hi-fi, Sky TV, two Play-Station 2s and four DVD players. Her huge garden boasts a full-size trampoline, two sets of swings and FIVE mountain bikes. She also has... Read more...

Redbox Ripoff

Better value at 40p "More than £50,000 has been spent on the famous "red boxes" used by government ministers over the past few years, according to an MP's survey.Prices of the boxes, which are used to store government papers securely, ranged from £385 to £750 each." (BBC: HTP Heather)The biggest... Read more...

More on superbugs

Margarent McCartney's article in the Financial Times on superbugs is well worth reading.  In particular, this section gets at how the inexperience and lack of subject knowledge associated with political management is crucial to the failure to control hospital infections: "Politicians are tackling MRSA with campaigning zeal. Gordon Brown has... Read more...

Weekly Waste Watch- 79

Consultants don't do flood defences In the news this week:Defra blows another £1.1bn on consultants- "Vital flood defence funding was cut while ministers spent a record £1 billion on management consultants... Defra spent £140million on consultants in 2002-3, reaching £290 million in 2006-7. It has spent £1.1 billion since 2002.... Read more...

Quackers regulations

Yesterday a council instructed a community-aware couple not to tend to a grass verge by their house because it prevented council staff from ‘monitoring’ when it needed to be cut. Today Oakley and Deane Parish Council have ordered residents not to feed the ducks because, and I never knew this,... Read more...

Jeremy Leggett on Renewable Power

Leggett's article for Comment is Free is so idiotic it is positively painful. I'll fisk it and then quickly conclude with a little examination of his dubious byline: "When Britain and Germany raced to scale up their aircraft industries for war in the 1930s, the British competed rather well. Recovering... Read more...

New Deal No Deal For Taxpayers

  How to get shameless workshy dole recipients back to work and earning their own keep is one of the oldest problems in welfare. Indeed, it was the principal driver for the Poor Law reforms of the 1830s (see this blog and James Bartholomew's outstanding Welfare State We're In for... Read more...

Truancy rises again

Still-rising levels of truancy, reported today by the Independent, are a result of the failure of an education system under political mangement.  There are a few key failures at work here.   1)  Children haven't learn to read   Poor literacy standards mean that a child will often find the... Read more...

London area social

Around 40 TPA supporters and activists joined us last night at the Old Monk Pub for the first London area social.  We had a great turnout, allowing the TPA staff to meet our activists working so hard campaigning for lower taxes and better government.  It was also a good opportunity... Read more...

MPs record expenses "extortionate", says TaxPayers' Alliance

TPA says MPs "should be ashamed of themselves"   Increase per MP calculated by TPA   TPA calls on Commons authorities to follow Scottish Parliament in revealing itemised expenses   Responding to the publication of MPs’ expense claims for 2006-07 today, the TaxPayers' Alliance described the rises as “extortionate”. TPA... Read more...

MPs’ EXPENSES: Tories best value for money, Plaid Cymru worst

The TPA’s analysis of today’s expense claim figures for MPs ranks the main Parties by the average amount claimed per MP in expenses. Travel expenses are excluded given the different geographic spread of the Parties.     Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “Conservative MPs should be... Read more...

£34k for a 'Young Mayor Coordinator'

Have a read of this non-job an activist alerted us to:   “Young Mayor Co-ordinator£27,800 - £34,100 pa inc.   In October 2007, the young people of Newham have voted for their first ever Young Mayor. You will provide principal support to the Young Mayor, working with him to deliver... Read more...

Coventry City Council advertises for 'Lifestyle Coach'

In the wake of the TaxPayers’ Alliance inadvertently attracting media attention for their “non-job” of the week - as advertised by Sandwell Council - another job of ambiguous merit has surfaced on the Coventry City Council website…   Community Lifestyle Coach £22,293 - £27,492pa   A physical activity professional, you... Read more...

Keep off the grass...even if you're cutting it

Can’t council bureaucrats find anything better to do than discourage social, voluntary activity helping the local community?  If you’ve read the Telegraph this morning you’ll see the disappointing story involving Broxbourne Council asking Stan and Jean Chatterton to stop cleaning a grass verge near their house.   In a letter... Read more...

MPs and their skills

The Mail reports today that MPs are struggling to find employment on leaving work: "The study said employers have little use for former MPs - and some take more than a year to find a job.  Those who do manage to find work often complain that they do not earn... Read more...

The Government's £57,000 boxes

Yesterday we noted how Renfrewshire Council was spending £100,000 on desks.  Today we learn that the government has been spending £57,000+ on ministerial red boxes in the past 5 years.  A series of questions and freedom of information requests from Lib Dem MP John Hemming showed that the Department for... Read more...

Unfunded public sector pension liabilities rise again

The Telegraph reports that the official estimate of unfunded public sector pension liabilities has risen to £620 billion, up from the previous official estimate of £530 billion. This works out at around £30,000 per household over the next four decades.   Of course, the official projection is at the low... Read more...

Who would spend £100k on desks?

A TPA activist has given us a heads-up on some remarkable government procurement projects put out to tender.   The first comes from Thurrock Council where we have bad news for the Bus service, but good news for the Mayor.  They’re looking for a chauffeur service to ferry the Mayor... Read more...

More corporate tax cuts in prospect in Canada

Tax-news.com reports that Canadian Liberals, who reduced the federal corporation tax rate from 28 per cent to 19 per cent when in office, are now proposing to reduce the rate even more, and by more than the 0.5 per cent reduction proposed by the incumbent Conservative Party: Liberal Leader Stephane... Read more...

Britain's economic prosperity built on a mountain of debt

An interesting new paper  from Policy Exchange argues that Britain's strong economic growth over the past 15 years is not as positive as it seems. It has, instead, been built on the back of a surge in house prices, leading to a lower savings ratio and a huge increase in... Read more...

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