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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 interestin having one body that is both developing the curriculum and keepingthe curriculum up to date... 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... 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... Read more...

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

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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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.  ... Read more...

Cult Of Amateur Delivers Northern Wreck

The Labour dominated Treasury Select Committee had a simple job yesterday- to stick responsibility for the Northern Rock debacle on Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England. Darling and Brown clearly wanted that, and so too did the City banks, who have been running a well orchestrated campaign... Read more...

Getting into the top universities

The Sutton Trust reports (PDF) that state school pupils do not have the same chance of getting into top universities even if they have the same grades as a student from a private school.  It is important to understand that this doesn't necessarily mean that the universities are discriminating.  ... Read more...

The "rich" are merely those who earn more than MPs

An interesting piece from the Scotsman points out that while the Liberal Democrats plan to hammer "rich" households earning more than £70,000, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell earns £60,227 as an MP:   "SIR Menzies Campbell yesterday pledged to "hammer" households earning more than £70,000 with higher taxes. "The... Read more...

Not Me Guv Government

He's to blame Do you remember "joined-up government"? No, don't scream. Labour's slogan said that government under the hopelessboomandbust Tories operated in silos- they would join it up again to servethemanynotthefew.You remember that?The real world has turned out to be a tad more problematic.For one thing, just bunging everything together... Read more...

Britain falls in international education league tables

The Times reports another international comparison that shows failure in British education.  It uses exam results which there is good reason to think significantly overestimate standards in British schools due to pupils being taught to the test.  The real picture could be much worse: Read more...

Poems on 'The Public' by David Bartley

Black Country poet and West Midlands TaxPayers’ Alliance supporter David Bartley has written some poetry inspired by the unopened £70 million eye-sore, ‘The Public’ arts centre in West Bromwich, summing up the general feeling about the building around the Sandwell area…   Please don’t forget - you can still sign... Read more...

Non-job of the Week

When Islington Council has in the past been responsible for such bright wheezes as using £400,000 of taxpayers’ money to clean up graffiti and then offering free classes to local teenagers in graffiti techniques, and employing a Recycling Education Officer at £30,000 a year, it is not necessarily surprising that... Read more...

Mela organisers demand £34k from Birmingham City Council

Testament to how generous Birmingham City Council are known to be with their (our) cash, the organisers of July’s Banga Mela Festival in Handsworth Park – the Bangladesh Community Trust – are trying their luck and appealing to be reimbursed by the council for a £34,000 loss on the event... Read more...

Restrictive surgery hours costs business £1 billion every year

The Times reports a new survey showing the cost to Britain of time off to visit the doctor. "The Confederation of British Industry said yesterday that the cost to the economy caused by restricted surgery times and problems booking appointments was more than £1 billion. The CBI argues that patients... Read more...

Public see little prospect of improvement in the public services

The Financial Times reports a decline in the numbers expecting improvements in the public services: "On public services generally, those who believe things will get worse outnumber those who believe they will get better by 22 percentage points, against 13 in May." The public are probably right.  Politicians don't yet... Read more...

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