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Conservatives to abandon green taxes

In a revealing interview with the Telegraph today, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne sought to distance himself from new green tax proposals put forward by the Quality of Life policy group.  He said:"We're not going to have taxes on parking at supermarkets because I know that families going to the supermarket... Read more...

OECD urges Brown to come clean on tax

From the Telegraph: "The world's leading economic watchdog has urged Gordon Brown to abandon his decade-long use of stealth taxes. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development yesterday issued the Government an unprecedented order to be "more transparent" about tax rises. It said the Government should stop using fiscal drag... Read more...

Hospital hygiene

Reuters report today that the Lancet has condemned Brown's proposals to deep-clean hospitals and make all hospital staff wear short sleeves.  Their central contention is that he has neglected more important measures like making NHS staff wash their hands.Some of the Lancet's criticisms are ill-founded.  The problem isn't that Brown... Read more...

Dr Battey's Accounts Book

Dr Battey had to account direct to his customers In the continued absence of the inestimable but exhausted Doc Crippen, we've once again been delving into the cost of our GP services.The bald facts are these (NB: because of the glacial speed at which NHS stats are collected and collated,... Read more...

Kent County Council's "coherence" spending

The Kentish Express reported last week (20th September) that Kent County Council have defended their decision to employ advertising firm M&C Saatchi to “improve its communications” at a cost of £48,000 to the taxpayer.  Kent County Council has a media and communications budget of…wait for it…£1.1 MILLION taxpayer pounds.  What... Read more...

The right way to harmonise taxes, if you must do it

With the news earlier this week of business support for a common corporate tax base in the EU, it seems little will stop Brussels from getting its way. So if we're going to have tax harmonisation forced upon us, let's at least make sure it's done in the right way.... Read more...

NHS fails the elderly

The Telegraph reports a study by the Healthcare Commission today showing a shocking series of failures in the NHS' treatment of older people: "• Only five hospital trusts out of 23 met all of its standards on dignity in care • 23 per cent of elderly patients said they had... Read more...

A lesson in why corporation tax should be reduced

An interesting new video from the CATO Institute in Washington presents an important lesson on why corporation tax should be reduced. You can watch the video here. It's primarily aimed at a US audience, but CATO are interested in general feedback about the content, before they get it professionally made.... Read more...

French budget: tax cuts; public spending frozen in real terms

The French government yesterday unveiled its budget for 2008. Public spending is to be frozen in real terms and taxes will be cut by €9 billion, or £6.3 billion, including €5.1 billion to exempt overtime from tax and social charges. The ususal critics have been lined up to say that... Read more...

Non-job of the week

Our non-job of the week is yet again another politically correct post in local government the British people could easily live without.  Rather than putting our taxes to essential services, Lincolnshire County Council want not one but TWO - yes, Laurel and Hardy – diversity officers for its public sector... Read more...

An independent exam authority

The Telegraph reports that today Ed Balls will announce a replacement for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) that sets both the curriculum and the tests: "He said: "There is an inherent conflict of interest in having one body that is both developing the curriculum and keeping the curriculum up... Read more...

Private company to offer degrees

The Financial Times reports:"A private sector company has been granted the power to award degrees for the first time, provoking complaints about the "privatisation" of education.The news that a subsidiary of education company BPP has been given the go-ahead also suggests that universities could face stiff competition as the private... Read more...

Christmas threatened by Union-Grinches

The Telegraph reports that the Unite union, which represents 12,000 Royal Mail managers, is threatening strike action over Christmas.  They are protesting plans to end the company's final salary pension scheme and replace it with a career average scheme.Final salary schemes are in retreat across the economy as firms try... Read more...

ORDER TODAY! - THE MUST-HAVE CARD GAME FOR ALL OCCASSIONS...

Political Trumps The TaxPayers' Alliance has produced the must-have accessory for all rainy days and long trips: Political Trumps!The cards include today's major political figures with Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem and minor parties all represented.  Every politician has been rated on their media skills, scandal avoidance and integrity by a... Read more...

Battle for free-market ideas still to be won

An interesting FT/Harris poll is covered in the Financial Times today (here for questions, here for further write-up). It's worth reading the poll results and analysis in full, but here is a quick summary. Around 35 per cent of Britons think that a free-market, capitalist economy is the best economic... Read more...

FACT and TPA at work in Norwich

FACT (Folk Against Council Tax) activist and TPA supporter June Farrow got a letter into the Norwich Evening News recently, raising the issue of council tax.  The NEN is very quickly becoming the low-tax-activist’s house magazine.  We got a series of rapid-reaction letters in the NEN in response to the... Read more...

New tax on workplace parking spaces proposed

Today's Times reports: "Commuters face a £350 tax on workplace parking spaces in an attempt to encourage them out of their cars and on to public transport."The tax is being planned as an alternative to congestion charging because it is thought to be much cheaper and easier to collect. Nottingham... Read more...

Tower Shamlets 'defend' Islamist books

A couple of weeks ago we highlighted a report by the Centre for Social Cohesion that exposed the shocking amount of Islamic Fundamentalist literature stocked in Tower Shamlets’ taxpayer-funded libraries.  So I wrote to the leader of the council and got a reply from their head of Idea Stores (Chief... Read more...

Weekly Waste Watch- 75

In the news this week:£500,000 on luxury police cars- "The police force that last week claimed it did not have enough cash to fight migrant crime has spent more than £500,000 on new Volvo cars for top officers to use when on and off duty. Cambridgeshire allows the officers to... Read more...

The PCSO Problem

                                                             PCSO "Steve" - here to help, unless you're drowning...The tragic story of the 10 year-old boy who drowned in a pond whilst two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) looked... Read more...

Ashford Council's waste habit

A supporter in Kent keeps us informed with a constant stream of information on local government waste and mismanagement.  She completes the hat-trick over Ashford Borough Council this week with yet another instance of overspending, this time highlighting Ashford Council’s £80,000+ legal fees.In a Freedom of Information request by the... Read more...

Democracy coming to a Parish near you?

We reported recently on the local parish referendum down in Devon on the EU referendum, and the results are in.  Ninety percent voted in favour of holding a referendum on the EU constitution and now other parishes are looking to hold their own local polls on the EU constitution.Just think... Read more...

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