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Non-job of the week

Last week Sandwell Council deservedly got a lot of flack from us by advertising for two positions in their welfare rights department.  This week, Nottingham City Council is advertising for ten positions in its welfare rights department.  Top City firms may be handing out redundancies, but the welfare rights industry... Read more...

Tax burden higher than in 1975

An interesting snippet from Greg Mankiw's blog - according to the OECD tax revenue as a share of GDP in the UK is higher than it was in 1975, the hight of Old Labour socialism. This needn't be the case if our politicians didn't act as a high-tax cartel.  ... Read more...

Half-day for Council workers to go 'Christmas Shopping'

No word of a lie but Nick Ferrari on LBC Radio has revealed that Leicestershire County Council will allow its staff to take an afternoon off just to go Christmas shopping (found in the Leicestershire local paper too).  Good for them, but they’re still on the clock.  As far as... Read more...

More secrecy and failure in the NHS

Following on from the widely-reported failues of the NHS to tackle hospital superbugs comes the news that one in three NHS trusts is struggling financially. How is this possible? The NHS now consumes around £100 billion a year, a threefold increase in the last decade.   We can only repeat... Read more...

Golden handshake for incompetent finance director

The former finance director of North Stoke Primary Care Trust who presided as the body plunged into £6million of debt and was subsequently suspended from her £85,000-a-year post on full pay for 18 months has also received a “golden handshake” of over £30,000 on quitting, today’s The Sentinel reports.  ... Read more...

Government Regional Shambles

The man who cost us our shirt BBC File on Four has broadcast an investigation into yet another shambles bequeathed to taxpayers by John Prescott (listen again here). It's likely to cost us another EU fine running into tens of millions (cf the £436m EU fine for Margaret Beckett's fiasco... Read more...

Weekly Waste Watch- 78

My bonus is clearly in the national interest In the news this week:£53m bonuses for Treasury mandarins- "SENIOR civil servants in the department responsible for the tax credit fiasco have been paid more than £53million in bonuses. Nearly half the sum was paid in the last 12 months... Critics pointed... Read more...

More Tax Funded Compensation

Eastbourne has changed since 1954 "A military helicopter destroyed the conservatory of a £1.75 million mansion when its pilot swooped too low to look at a sunbathing au pair, a court heard yesterday.The four servicemen flying the Merlin helicopter were said to have dropped to 500ft or lower for the... Read more...

Capital gains tax: an alternative view

We've criticised the Government for raising capital gains tax on small business by 80 per cent, and supported the many justified complaints from business groups and others.   But in the interests of debate, here is an alternative view from a respected commentator - Martin Wolf in the Financial Times:... Read more...

Fewer than half of pupils gain good GCSEs in core subjects

Yet more evidence of the failures of the state education system have come to light today:   Fewer than half of 16-year-olds this year achieved five A*-C grade GCSEs including English and maths;   Only a quarter achieved five A*-C grade GCSEs including English, maths, science and a foreign language;... Read more...

Slough-t of their minds

Of all the things a council could interfere in, Slough Council has banned its community bonfire – especially for bonfire night – because it breaches their ‘clean air policy’.  With the proliferation of green politics and the development of ‘climate change’ departments in local authorities, we’re certainly not surprised such... Read more...

Launch of the Derby TPA Branch

      The Derby TaxPayers’ Alliance branch launched yesterday with a meeting of prominent tax activists in Derby and a leading journalist from the Derby Evening Telegraph interested in the formation of the local grassroots branch.  Joining us is Josephine Rooney, who came to national attention when she refused... Read more...

Quarter of hospital trusts fail to meet basic hygiene standards

Coming just a few days after the superbug scandal at the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospital NHS Trust and the admission that 20 hospitals have worse infection rates than Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells is the lastest in a series of revelations about the sub-standard level of care in the NHS.... Read more...

Non-job of the week

This week we have yet another local government non-job that squanders taxpayers’ money.  Our target this week is Sandwell Council who think they’re not handing out enough benefits.   Their advertisement for a ‘Welfare Rights Team Manager’ in the Guardian jobs pages this week reads as follows:   “Welfare Rights... Read more...

State schools are failing the poor

A damning Ofsted report has revealed that the state education system is failing the poorest children in our society:   Just 51 per cent of secondary schools were judged to be good or outstanding;34 per cent were merely satisfactory; 10 per cent were inadequate;Only 12 per cent of 16-year-olds in... Read more...

Democracy suffers at regional level

In today’s Birmingham Post (business supplement) John Duckers writes of the increasingly powerful threat to democracy that is Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency that controls £400 million-per-year of taxpayers’ money.   Ducker states with some conviction that, “AWM is fast becoming an unelected mini-government with uncontested authority over... Read more...

Higher taxes reduce labour supply

A new paper, "Labour supply and marginal tax rates" by AJ de Bruin from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, investigates the effect of labour income taxes on the supply of paid labour for several Western countries over the last two decades.   For the countries with the best data, namely... Read more...

Chairman of the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust quits

James Lee, chairman of the Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, has resigned following the Healthcare Commission's report on an outbreak of C. difficile there that has claimed over ninety lives.  The Telegraph have seen his letter to Alan Johnson.  He wrote: "We had to be concerned about finance because... Read more...

Australia cuts taxes - again

While it's great news that, in Britain, tax cuts have become fashionable to talk about again, we don't yet have a plan from any of the main political parties to reduce the overall burden of tax. The Conservative conference announcement was very welcome, but on paper at least, it was... Read more...

Are the terms of debate changing?

Philip Stephens has an interesting piece in the Financial Times on whether the terms of political debate are changing in favour of lower taxes: "The politics of the 1980s were defined by a view that tax cuts were good and public spending wasteful. The public realm was neglected in favour... Read more...

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